Many phases and function of sleep are still under intense research, however judging from a simple fact - all animals do sleep, it is obvious that its role is indubitable. Nonetheless, many people are still having the mind set of sleep is merely a time-wasting-activity. Even among professionals who perform crucial roles such as doctors, teachers, engineers are willing to compromise their sleep, with a simple excuse, busy. In short, they are experiencing either acute total sleep deprivation or more common, chronic partial sleep restriction. Many effects of both types of sleep deprivation were investigated, in particular health, attention, decision making.
Sleep deprivation is the root of many health problems. In other words, sleep is viewed as a vital process to enable body reparation to be carried out spontaneously after a day of many exhausting events. This accounts of many ...view middle of the document...
This accounts for impairment of many higher functions such as creativity and language.
Another effect of sleep deprivation worth mentioning is deterioration of attention and become less vigilance. Vigilance is the ability of staying alert and pays attention continuously. Many 10 minute psychomotor vigilance tests were performed by investigators to study how one’s vigilance is affected due to insufficient sleep. The results had shown that participants who experiencing sleep deprivation have relatively lower performance compared to control group. Beside less vigilance, the researches had reported one may experience lapses, which are temporal decline in concentration. This contributes to bad performance of sleep deprived participants during cognitive test. Moreover, the ability to divide attention is impaired. This can be proven through a dual task performed by Wright and Badia. It was found that the performance of sleep deprived participants is lower.
Sleep deprivation is known to negatively affect decision making, especially reasoning ability and categorization performance. Reasoning ability of an individual during insufficient sleep is measured with critical planning and masterplanner test by Harrison and Horne. Some of their findings including participants find it challenging to make use of new information in decision making tasks. Also, they concluded that sleep deprivation increases rigid thinking and consequently decrease reasoning and decision making ability.
In summary, we should be aware that sleeping is a mandatory activity in our daily life, hence sacrificing our sleep is an unintelligent act. The adverse effects of sleep deprivation are proven, however the mechanisms underlying them require further and more detailed investigation. In the future, scientists should conduct more sleep-related studies, emphasising on factors affecting quality of sleep. Moreover, some studies faced limitation such as different length and complexity of the task and practice effect, so the results were not conclusive. In this case, a standard approach should be developed to solve the issues.