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Sleep Deprivation Essay

862 words - 3 pages

     Sleep deprivation has become a major problem with Americans. Over 100 million Americans today suffer from lack of sleep. This has been an ongoing problem throughout the centuries. People owe their bodies sleep and scientist are calling it a “Sleep debt”. An average American owes their body at least thirty hours of sleep. This lack of sleep is as hazardous as drunk driving.

     One man caught sleep deprivation at it’s best. He pushed himself to the limits as much as possible. One day he went thirty hours without sleep and was on his way to his parents for supper. On his way to his parents house he stopped on some railroad tracks and stared a train in the face until it hit him. He survived the incident with torn cartilage in his rib. It has been said that had he not had been deprived of the sleep his body needed, his reflexes would have told him that the train was going to hit him.

     Cultural belief leads people into thinking that one can not be successful without sleep. This is the main theory that Doctor William Dement bases his study on. Dr. Dement has done marvelous work on REM sleep, sleep apnea and narcolepsy. He is sure that eating and sleeping are in the same category of importance. Eight hours of sleep a night is the minimum of sleep for one person, any less gives a sleep debt that has to be fulfilled.

     If you are feeling dizzy during the day, or if you have become clumsy on a regular basis, you may suffer from sleep deprivation. This clumsiness has proved sleep deprivation a huge problem in our society. Take the Challenger Space shuttle explosion, for instance, It has been recorded that the main mistakes of that shuttle came from the sleep deprived NASA managers. The huge tanker that had the catastrophic oil spill, it was said that the sleepy crewman that was in charge of turning the tanker was the main cause of the accident. Gerald Ford was famous for his announcing that he only needed five hours of sleep a night, but if you check the history books it is shown that he might have needed a little more than five hours.

     “Driving drowsy is the same as driving drunk,” says Dement. “You’re very impaired, your judgment is impaired, your reaction time is impaired, your memory is impaired, and this huge sleep debt you’ve accumulated suddenly seizes...

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