Sleep deprivation has become a common occurrence in the modern academic world, due to factors like technology and lack of proper time management. According to a survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, 60% of students get an average of 6.5 of the required 8-9 hours of sleep. Sleep deprivation has myriad of negative consequences to these learners such as affecting their performance, behavior, and cognitive functioning. The following are the dangers related to lack of enough sleep:
1. It affects performance.
Sleep is a critical ingredient in cognitive processes like learning and critical thinking. Lack of enough sleep cripples these processes. It impairs alertness, concentration, memory, reasoning, and problem-solving ability, all of what we need for active learning.
Secondly, numerous studies have shown that a human brain synthesizes what you learn during the day when you are asleep and consolidates the information in your mind. Individuals who suffer from sleep deprivation, are not able to retain what they learned during the day as they miss out on the consolidation process.
2. weakening of the immune system.
When we sleep, our immune system regenerates: The white blood cells are processed to help our bodies fight with disease-causing pathogens. When you deprive yourself of sleep, the cells cannot regenerate which leads to a fall in their numbers. Your body is left vulnerable to all diseases. Frequent illness means more school days missed, which directly translates to poor performance.
3. Causes impaired judgment.
Most situations that students experience will require proper judgment. From solving problems in class, relating with others, to handling or reacting to the situations. Insufficient sleep impairs your ability to make good decisions. It makes it difficult for you to assess a situation correctly and take the appropriate action. Therefore, you lack resources to aid you on how to solve problems, react to situations, or decide what is right or wrong for you.
4. Cause stress related diseases.
When it becomes a habit, lack of enough sleep triggers your body to release a stress hormone (Cortisol) in high amounts. Your stress levels hike, leading to anxiety and depression. Depression can make you feel smothered by the simplest problems or even the most ordinary life situation occurrences. Because your judgment has been affected, you will most likely look for an easy way out. In some cases, it has been known to prompt suicidal feelings in students.
5. Affects behavior.
People who are sleep deprived have been known to be moody. The stress hormone (Cortisol) released affects their impulse control and increases agitation. They become easily irritable and short tempered and act out their feelings. They also exhibit defiance and rudeness, and that affects their relationship with others negatively.
6. It causes accidents.
Drowsiness can affect your nervous system leading slow reaction time. Because of this, you are more likely to have accidents that you can usually avoid when alert. These accidents can happen at home or in school. If you get hurt in the course, it means you will have to take sick leave missing classes in the process, which will lead to poor performance.
As a student, you want to live a healthy and happy life and still excel academically. Achieving these three things will be just a dream if you don’t give your brain and body time to rest. Give yourself enough time to sleep and maintain a regular sleep cycle, to avoid sleep deprivation and its consequences.
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