“I a.m. The next morning, she fights

“I think high school is the real danger spot in terms of sleep deprivation,” –William Dement          Carolyn Walworth, 17, often reaches a breaking point around 11 p.m., when she collapses in tears. For 10 minutes or so, she just sits at her desk and cries, overwhelmed by unrelenting school demands. She is desperately tired and longs for sleep. But she knows she must move through it, because more assignments in physics, calculus or French await her. She finally crawls into bed around midnight or 12:30 a.m. The next morning, she fights to stay awake in her first-period U.S. history class, which begins at 8:15. She is unable to focus on what’s being taught, and her mind drifts. “You feel tired and exhausted, but you think you just need to get through the day so you can go home and sleep,” says the Palo Alto, California, teen. But that night, she will have to try to catch up on what she missed in class. And the cycle begins again. “It’s an insane system. … The whole essence of learning is lost,” she says. (Ritchter, 2015)          Sleep deprivation is the condition of not having enough sleep that can cause fatigue, daytime sleepiness, clumsiness, weight gain or weight loss (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). Sleep is a vital necessity for people to live a healthy lifestyle in which they can function well and think properly. It helps with memory consolidation, learning, decision-making, and critical thinking (Gilbert & Weaver, 2010).          More causes of sleep deprivation as stated by Tsai and Li (2004), are gender and grade differences. In Tsai and Li’s study, they found that female students tend to receive lesser sleep with poorer sleep quality and more awakenings in the middle of the night compared to male students. The male students would receive more sleep with better quality. This is because women went to bed later but rose earlier.           According to Tsai and Li (2004) again, younger students such as college freshmen also tended to sleep less than college seniors no matter what their gender. This may be because of fewer workloads and the more relaxed attitude of college seniors since they have their life more balanced out as opposed to the incoming freshmen that are just trying to figure things out. The college freshmen may feel more stress as they try to balance having a social life and keeping up with their academics at the same time. As a result, sleep deprivation can be caused by both gender differences and grade differences.          Understanding what happens during sleep also means understanding the sleep cycle, which consists of two recurring phases: REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM (non-REM or non-rapid eye movement). Both phases are important for different functions in our bodies. NREM sleep typically occupies 75–80% of total sleep each night. Many of the health benefits of sleep take place during NREM sleep – tissue growth and repair occurs, energy is restored and hormones that are essential for growth and development are released. REM sleep typically occupies 20–25% of total sleep each night. REM sleep, when dreaming occurs, is essential to our minds for processing and consolidating emotions, memories and stress. It is also thought to be vital for learning, stimulating the brain regions used in learning and developing new skills. If the REM and NREM cycles are interrupted multiple times throughout the night — either due to snoring, difficulties breathing or waking up frequently throughout the night — then we miss out on vital body processes, which can affect our health and well-being the next day and long term. (Morselli, 2010)          It is important to know the causes and effects when a person is deprived from sleep. A sleepy person’s brain work harder and accomplishes less (Denoon, 2000).           Sleep Deprivation got the Russians very curious and Russian researchers in the late 1940s kept five people awake for fifteen days using an experimental gas based stimulant. They were kept in a sealed environment to carefully monitor their oxygen intake so the gas didn’t kill them, since it was toxic in high concentrations. This was before closed circuit cameras so they had only microphones and five inch thick glass porthole sized windows into the chamber to monitor them. The chamber was stocked with books, cots to sleep on but no bedding, running water and toilet, and enough dried food to last all five for over a month. The test subjects were political prisoners deemed enemies of the state during World War II. Everything was fine for the first five days; the subjects hardly complained having been promised (falsely) that they would be freed if they submitted to the test and did not sleep for 30 days. Their conversations and activities were monitored and it was noted that they continued to talk about increasingly traumatic incidents in their past, and the general tone of their conversations took on a darker aspect after the four day mark.          Everyday worse and worse things happened. After five days, they started to complain about the circumstances and events that lead them to where they were and started to demonstrate severe paranoia. They stopped talking to each other and began alternately whispering to the microphones and one way mirrored portholes. Oddly they all seemed to think they could win the trust of the experimenters by turning over their comrades, the other subjects in captivity with them. At first the researchers suspected this was an effect of the gas itself. Debate broke out among the researchers and the military forces funding the research. Unable to provoke any more response using the intercom it was finally decided to open the chamber at midnight on the fifteenth day. To their surprise, the four remaining subjects behaved in a manner that any human would not do. Some died, and others were killed. This experiment was said to be an urban legend but this just might really happened in the past.(Creepy pasta)           Sleep deprivation prevents your immune system from building up its forces. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body may not be able to fend off invaders. Lack of sleep can affect your overall health and make you prone to serious medical conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Lack of sleep increases stress hormone cortisol in the body. Sleep deprivation not only affects us by our everyday actions. It also has a part in our health. It may also deprive us of having a healthy life. (Wikipedia)          This study aims to accomplish certain tasks. This includes the effects of sleep deprivation with regards to the outcome on students’ performance and how students could be able to cope with this. Sleep deprivation may be triggered in many ways but may also be cured in as many ways as it was started. This study will pave the way into fighting the cause, shrugging off the future effect.+

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