Yvonne M. Terry-Mcelrath: Article Analysis

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Sleeping Sleep; we all love it, we all need it, and yet many of us may not even know how much it really benefits us. It’s relatively common knowledge that eight hours of sleep is recommended by doctors and that getting any less than that can end up being bad for you. But just how bad can it really be? Will you just be tired in the mornings, less productive at work, or simply crash sometime during the day and take a nap to recover? In reality, the effects of poor sleep can be more serious and much harder to fix than you may think. Believe it or not, a lack of sleep can do many things to affect a person 's life and can influence mental well being, physical well being, and even decision making abilities. As a student or busy employee, it can …show more content…
When tired, many people find themselves making choices they may not otherwise, whether it’s a late night online shopping binge or just a little over sharing on social media. But sleep can have much more serious effects than that too. An analysis of data collected from 1991-2014 was done in the study "Sleep And Substance Use Among US Adolescents, 1991-2014" by Yvonne M. Terry-McElrath and others in an effort to determine what effect a person 's sleep patterns have on their choices regarding drinking and drug usage. By studying the social, behavioral, and personality characteristics of adolescents in the data sample, they were able to find that the weakest association between sleep and drug use was found among those who got the most sleep, while the strongest association was found among those who had the least sleep. They report that a lack of quality sleep links a person with substance abuse more strongly than with those who have more quality sleep. They also noted that between the years of 1991 and 2014, the connection between lack of sleep and substance abuse decreased significantly (Terry-McElrath). This all helps to show that a lack of sleep can have a very strong impact on a young adult 's life by affecting the choices they make concerning drugs and alcohol. This is important because it shows that sleep not only affects a person 's mind and body, but that it …show more content…
A lack of sleep in college aged students increases a person 's likelihood to have depression and attention issues during the day. It compounds weight gain when paired with poor diet and exercise by changing metabolic processes and timing and by having less energy to perform physical work in general. It can even have such drastic effects as increasing a person’s likelihood to drink, do drugs, or abuse substances in other ways. These are all very major effects for something that many people wouldn’t consider extremely important in their lives except as a way to get energy for the next day. Unfortunately, it isn’t very easy to improve sleep quality among students. According to one study, increasing school start times by a half hour only netted a ten minute average increase in the time that students sleep. On top of that, many people turn to naps as a way to try and pick up some of the sleep time that they missed during the night, but by doing so, are really just harming their sleep that much more by making them more likely to have a shorter and lower quality nights sleep the next night. These things all work together to show that sleep and its effects are a much larger part of someone 's life and are much more important than most people would

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