To Sleep or Not to Sleep

Topics: Sleep, Sleep deprivation, Electroencephalography Pages: 2 (641 words) Published: April 7, 2013
To Sleep or Not to Sleep
My opinion of sleep and how I actually go about it are different from each other. Generally, I get everything I planned for that day done before I allow myself to sleep, especially if there is homework involved. However, I fully believe people should reorganize their life, so they are able to get enough sleep each night. I believe this for several reasons: the consequences of sleep deprivation are serious, may improve vitality, and sleep is the time to allow the brain to reorganize the days’ events. Getting enough sleep is more important than getting less sleep in order to fulfill your day.

The consequences of sleep deprivation are serious and can even be deadly. Contrary to popular belief, long term sleep deprivation does not make a person go crazy or even show psychotic symptoms. Long term symptoms include impairment of memory, perception, and motivation. In our textbook, Dement explains one experiment he helped with. Randy Gardner, a high school student, wanted to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest time awake. Gardner was awake for 264 hours. A lot of Dement’s theories about sleep deprivation resulted from this marathon. Based on EEG readings from the end, Dement believes Gardner was in a sleepwalking state some of the time. This is because people lose motivation and the ability to control what they are doing. Sleep deprivation also leads to microsleeps. Microsleeps are “nod offs” that last much less than five seconds and which people do not actually notice they fell asleep. I believe microsleeps are the most dangerous, because surgeons, pilots, and drivers can have these while performing surgery, piloting a plane, or just driving and something serious can go wrong which ultimately leads to death.

Sleep may increase vitality by helping a person live a healthier life or even living longer. More research must be done to fully prove the latter. Many people experience after a good night’s rest relaxed, focused,...
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