The Importance Of Sleep In A Third Of Life

1715 Words 7 Pages
Sleep deprivation, which affects the sleep cycle, is a problem plaguing much of the human population. While there are copious amounts of scientific evidence about the consequences and many have authored about the issue, such as William Dement and Paul Martin, many people are still seemingly ignorant to it. Even though studies show that both adults and adolescents in America are becoming more and more sleep deprived, the problem seems to be exponentially more severe in adolescents. Many social, cultural, and biological factors have impeded adolescents from getting the required amount of sleep. Although it appears adolescents are able to cope with sleep deprivation, obedience to modern technology and to the demands of school, coupled with the …show more content…
Both Dement in “Sleep Debt and the Mortgaged Mind” and Martin in “A Third of Life” speak of how society is “sleep sick” and most people lack the knowledge about sleep deprivation. Dement shows this point by giving the reader historical examples, such as the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and proving how lack of sleep was the root cause (497-498). This example of sleep deprivation being a serious issue, but commonly overlooked, was much more credible due to the Transportation Safety Board agreeing with sleep deprivation being the main cause (Dement 498). Martin even refers to a study from Oxford University conducted in the late 1990s. This study compiled data from medical universities and showed how the training for sleep and sleep disorders averaged only five minutes in undergraduate school (465). He additionally mentions an interesting point of how sleep is featured very little in literature (Martin 465). Dement also includes in his article, that sleep and its effects are totally absent from textbooks and other educational materials (500). Even with two decades of research, Dement claims that students are still not acquiring the critical information about topics such as sleep deprivation. With medical professionals, literature, and textbooks seeming to display an indifference or ignorance to sleep and sleep deprivation, how are adolescents supposed …show more content…
According to a poll done by the National Sleep Foundation, nine out of ten parents state that their adolescent is getting enough sleep. Yet more than 87 percent of high school students in the United States receive less than the recommended eight to 10 hours, and the amount of time they sleep is decreasing (Richter). Between these two facts alone, one can see the vast awareness gap between parents and adolescents. With most parents believing that their student is receiving the recommended amount of sleep, adolescents appear to be affected by sleep deprivation and changes in their sleep cycle more. Since parents are not well versed in sleep deprivation and its consequences, adolescents are not achieving consistency with their sleep schedules. Having parents set a consistent bedtime results in a happier home environment (Richter). But if that bedtime is midnight or later, according to a 2010 study published in the journal Sleep, children are more likely to be depressed and have suicidal thoughts. Adolescents also will suffer from “social jet lag” which is when one stays up late at night but also sleeps in late in the mornings on the weekend. This is out of sync with an adolescent’s weekly circadian rhythm which plays into teen’s memory, emotions, and risk behaviors. Some of the most pertinent being driving drowsy, drugs, sexual activity, and involvement with

Related Documents