Summary: The Impact Of Sleep Deprivation

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The Impact of Sleep Deprivation
“If you 're an average sort of person, 36% of your life will be spent asleep, which means that if you live to ninety, then thirty two years will have been spent entirely asleep.” Russell Foster - a neuroscientist – said in his presentation about “Why Do We Sleep?” on Ted Talks (Foster). The numbers that Foster provided can clearly show how important sleep is; however, a lot of people do not spend enough time sleeping. Statistics by CDC (the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality) in 2015 pointed out that at least 33% of people in America lack sleep (Liu, Wheaton, Chapman, Cunningham, Lu & Croft). Although an adult is recommended to sleep 7.5 to 8 hours a night (Goldschmidt ), nowadays,
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A research team at Massachusetts General Hospital made a study of more than eighty healthy people who were from age sixty-six to eighty-seven years. They gave the participants a list of questions about sleep to get an overall look of their sleep habits, and checked their brains by fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging). The result showed that people tend to decrease the ability of systematizing complex activities when not getting enough sleep, which includes memorizing. What happens when people are sleeping is that while their bodies are resting, their brains actually are working on reorganizing all the events of the day, so that if a person does not sleep enough, his brain does not have enough time to form memories. For example, this situation always happens to those who cram the night before a test, as a result, in the next morning, they usually really struggle to remember the information which they have just learned. This process is not understood exactly; however, it is believed to relate to the brain’s hippocampus and neocortex, both of which take the responsibility for storing long-term memories. Scientists indicate that when sleeping, the hippocampus reviews what happened on the day for the neocortex, then after that, the neo-cortex will organize everything again. By that way, memories can last for a long time. If people do not sleep enough, this process of replaying memories from the hippocampus to the neocortex will not happen efficiently and lead to memory loss

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