The Negative Effects Of Sleep Deprivation And Mental Health

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Sleep Deprivation and Mental Health The young college student is lost. The last few weeks have taken a toll on his body and his mind. After spending countless hours studying for tests and continuously completing homework assignments, he attempts to focus and complete his seven page extra-credit assignment, but to no avail. His head feels heavy, and he cannot focus on once easy tasks and is constantly exhausted. Although it is not natural, he is not the only one who faces the same problem. Millions of people worldwide, especially those in college, fall victim to sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation is the act of not getting enough sleep, making you feel exhausted the next day. The average amount of sleep for each person varies, as there are …show more content…
The brain is one of the most vital organs in the human body, which controls decision making and regulates emotion. With people who are deprived of sleep, however, it negatively impacts multiple parts of the brain and hinders the production and effectiveness of this critical organ. There are numerous dangerous effects that affect the brain. Inside the brain, the hippocampus, the center for emotion, memory, and autonomic nervous system, actually shrinks with not enough sleep, causing some individuals to lose or reduce its ability to remember short-term and long-term memories or even creating false memories (mic.com). Another integral part of the brain that is negatively affected by reduced sleep is the amygdala, which is located in the temporal lobe and also regulates memory, decision-making, and emotional reactions. With sleep loss, the amygdala is constantly being used and puts strain on it can lead to people to become angrier than usual and negatively affects their mood by focusing on more negative experiences and facial expressions. It can also lead to poor judgement and leads to an increase in desires (mic.com). Problems with lack of sleep not only affect the brain, but the whole body in general. Figure 1.1 shows the problems associated with sleep deprivation, ranging from respiratory issues, obesity, impaired immune system, and other horrendous affects (happyhour). Issues that arise with the brain being overworked without an adequate break greatly reduces its effectiveness. Another key issue that sleep deprivation has on the brain is the shift in hormonal and change in brain activity. According to the peer reviewed article, “Consequences of Sleep Deprivation” by Jolanta Orzel Gryglewska, she states that there is a decrease in the release of two chemicals, thyroxine and triiodothyronine, which play vital roles in regulating the

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