The Influence Of Sleep Deprivation

“[L]ack of sleep may be contributing to the epidemic of obesity in this country through the work of a hormone called leptin that tells your brain when you 're full” (Finkelstein). Sleep deprivation is becoming a common trend in the United States because of jobs, sleep disorders, school, electronics and busy schedules. A vital part of life is sleep; however, people limit the amount of sleep they get and in return set themselves up for harm. Lack of sleep not only affects adults, but also affects youth and children. People of all ages are operating on only a few hours of sleep each day. Sleep may not seem like a very important part of life but without sleep the body and mind deteriorate. Lack of sleep adversely affects the way the body functions. …show more content…
Scientists recently found that lack of sleep can shrink the brain (Willingham). Thirty-five percent of people that did not sleep well showed signs of a smaller brain size. People over the age of sixty showed an even smaller sized brain. The smaller brain size could result in memory loss diseases. Dementia and Alzheimer’s have been found to be caused by bad sleep patterns. The buildup of protein in the brain harms the cells located in the brain when poor sleep occurs; increasing the chance of Alzheimer’s to increase. Anxiety and depression have also been found to occur when a person is lacking sleep:
Researchers found that for each hour of lost sleep, levels of psychological distress rose by 5% in nearly 3,000 17-to-24-year-olds who were followed for 12 to 18 months. Overall, short sleepers were 14% more likely to report symptoms of psychological distress on a standard test, compared with people who got adequate sleep. The effect was especially pronounced among young people who already suffered from anxiety; in this group, lack of sleep triggered more serious mental health problems like full-blown depression and even bipolar disorder.
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When a hormone known as leptin is affected by lack of sleep, the person feels as though he or she is always hungry (Finkelstein). The lack of leptin causes the body to consume more food even though the person already ate enough food. “During sleep, our bodies secrete hormones that help to control appetite, energy metabolism, and glucose processing. Obtaining too little sleep upsets the balance of these and other hormones” (“Sleep and Disease Risk.”). This increased food consumption causes obesity, a rising epidemic in the United States. Since obesity is on the rise, so is diabetes. Lack of sleep affects the way the body metabolizes sugar. The body is unable to metabolize the sugar and this can create the beginning of Type Two diabetes. Type Two diabetes is when the level of glucose in the blood is high. The body cannot utilize insulin or glucose efficiently (“Type 2.”). Patients suffering from hypertension have been reported to have a higher level of blood pressure throughout the day following a single night of sleep deprivation (“Sleep and Disease Risk.”). “Adults who routinely get less than six hours of shut-eye a night are four times more likely to suffer a stroke, compared with people getting seven or eight hours” (Sifferlin). People who are in perfect health may ignore the information because they do not see themselves having a stroke when they are in very good health and little to no medical

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