Sleep deprivation is the condition of not having enough sleep, it can be either chronic or acute. A chronic sleep-restricted state can cause fatigue, daytime sleepiness, drowsiness, weight loss or weight gain. It adversely affects the brain and cognitive function, which can lead to decreased level of creativity and performance.
Sleep deprivation can not be explained without emphasizing on the word “sleep”
Sleep is a naturally recurring state of mind and body, characterized by altered consciousness, relatively inhibited sensory activities, inhibition of nearly all voluntary muscles, and reduced interactions with surroundings~ Wikipedia.
We are humans, and we all sleep, it is noted and observed that during sleep, most of the body’s systems are in an anabolic (constructive) state. This state helps to restore the immune, nervous, skeletal and muscular system. All these are vital processes to maintain mood, memory and cognitive performance.
In essence, sleep plays a large role, it helps balance the state of the body’s system.
The functions of sleep as mentioned above, includes- restoration and memory processing.
Sleep deprivation prevents the listed functions, and there are physiological effects of sleep deprivation, some of which include:
- Cognitive impairment
- Severe yawning
A list of these physiological effects are seen on the brain. The brain controls the motor functions in the body, body’s balance and interpretation of information. Sleep deprivation affects the brain and cognitive function. A study done by the University of California, San Diego, showed that the prefrontal cortex, the area that supports mental faculties, such as working memory, displayed more activity in sleepier subjects.
It is revealed that sleep deprivation causes the brain to become incapable of putting an emotional event into the proper control, and give suitable response to an event.
Sleep deprivation also increases stress hormones, which may reduce new cell production in adult brains. This is the reason behind high metabolic activity while awake, preventing efficient repair to the needed body system
Causes of Sleep Deprivation
It is a sleeping disorder, known for its symptoms of unrest and the inability to sleep.
It is the collapse of the upper airway during sleep, it reduces airflow to the lungs.
The National Sleep Foundation, mentioned in 1996 that college/university aged students got an average of less than 6 hours of sleep at night. Sleep deprivation is common among the first year college students as they are yet to adjust to the stress and social activities of college life.
It is further known that during adolescence, circadian rhythm, and sleep patterns typically undergo marked changes.
It is a substance that raises levels of physiological or nervous activities in the body. Common examples of stimulants includes caffeine, nicotine. Students take drinks that contains caffeine or nicotine to help them read well, and prevent sleep at night. The simple truth is that it puts the Central Nervous System under pressure, and causes it to alter the natural cause of sleeping.
Sleep deprivation might not be as bad as you think it is. Factually, it is unhealthy.
Here are few habits to help prevent sleep deprivation:
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol when it is closer to bedtime
- Exercise early often, at least 3 hours before you go to bed
- Limit food and drink before sleep
- Get more natural light
- Cultivate regular bedtime routine
In summary, to enjoy what creativity means, cultivate the habit of sleeping well and allow your brain rest.
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