Senior Research Paper
Honors English 4 Period 3
The Center for Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 60 million United States adults suffer from a sleep disorder (“Insufficient Sleep Is a Public Health Epidemic”). That means that about 20% of adults in the United States have trouble going to sleep at night. When people don’t get to sleep on time they don’t get enough sleep at night, which leads to sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation is a rising problem in school and in the workplace; therefore, the symptoms, causes, consequences, and solutions should be known.
First and most important is identifying the symptoms of sleep deprivation. ...view middle of the document...
People suffering from depression or anxiety are not guaranteed to be linked with sleep deprivation, but there is a high chance. The problem Wolgast cites is that not enough depression and anxiety patients are tested or thought to be suffering from sleep deprivation.
In addition to indicating sleep deprivation, knowing it’s causes are just as important. Among the wide variety of causes of sleep deprivation, technology is a major element. Many people watch television or use their phones and computers late into the night without realization. Besides technology, some of the symptoms of sleep deprivation can also lead to further sleep problems. Sleep deprivation can stem from anxiety, depression, and psychosis (Leaney 8). While having sleeping problems can lead to these psychological disorders, suffering from them can lead to more problems. Depression and anxiety have a greater risk for causing sleep problems than psychosis because of the state of mind that suffering from psychosis leaves the patient in (psychosis can often be described as a mental disorder that involves a loss of contact with reality). While all of these problems vary from patient to patient in severity, treatment should still be sought immediately. Adams, an author for Education Week magazine, states “College Students lose more than 45 minutes of sleep each week due to cell phones disrupting their sleep.” (Adams 18). This is clear evidence of how being attached to technology is draining this generation of sleep. Personal experience also shows that hours of sleep can be drained by losing track of time on a computer or watching television. Adams explains the amount of sleep lost from college students to cite a group of people struggling with sleep problems, as well as to express the dependency of technology that college students have.
Although true that sleep deprivation affects everyone, students are at a high risk. Whether due to technology, stress, depression, or anxiety, a lot of students have a hard time getting as much sleep as they should. Sleep deprived students have less functionality and brain power as a well rested student. A student who is deprived of sleep may also have a hard time focusing in class, leading to failing grades. Teenagers need at least 9 hours of sleep each night, but a recent Rhode Island study shows they’re getting a “sleep debt” of at least 2 hours every night (Paraphrase) (Adams 18). For students who need clear and concise thoughts during the day for their studies, part-time jobs, and friends, 7 hours of sleep is too little. While the “sleep debt” is usually recovered during the weekends, sleeping in late on a Saturday or Sunday can ruin a teenager’s sleep cycle for the rest of the week. As sleep debt gets higher and higher, it can be harder to make up. The functionality of the brain is reduced by sleep debt (Thomas). Thomas explains the problem that students face with sleep deprivation: their sleep debt. An active student can’t...