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According to the Stanford University’s Department for the Diagnosis, “68% of college students are not getting enough sleep when they need.” Sleep Deprivation is an effect from a group of conditions that make it difficult to get adequate sleep on a regular basis. This may impact one’s physical and mental health, quality of life and even safety.
There are many reasons why sleep is so important, and a few are;
● Improves learning
● Regulates moods
● Helps brain functionality
● Helps maintain the balance of hormones
● Supports cognitive function and more
When you sleep, you go through five different stages. They are the following:
1. First stage: This is the first 5-10 minutes of sleep. You can still be woken up at this stage.
2. Second stage: You stay here for about 10-25 minutes. You are in a light sleep where your heart rate and body temperature are lower. 50% of your sleep is spent in this stage.
3. Third stage or NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement): This stage is restorative. The body is repairing itself, regrowing tissues, building bones and muscles, and strengthening your immune system.
4. Fourth stage: This is where you have rhythmic heartbeat and breathing, minimal to no muscle movement, and your brain has slow waves. Overall, this is the stage where you refresh.
5. Fifth stage or REM (Rapid Eye Movement): This stage usually happens about 90 minutes after you fall asleep. It’s the final stage, and it is also the stage where you dream. Your heart rate and breath begin to return to wakeful levels.
Sleep deprivation is not picky. Anyone can suffer from it. The most common sleep disorders are:
● Dyssomnias - Involves difficulty getting to sleep and/or remaining asleep
● Parasomnias - Undesirable experiences that occur “around sleep.” Ex: Sleepwalking, sleep terrors, sleep eating and sleep paralysis
● Insomnia - Having trouble falling and staying asleep
● Sleep apnea - Serious sleep disorder where breathing is interrupted
● Restless Leg Syndrome - A nervous disorder that causes overwhelming urges to move legs
● Narcolepsy - Chronic sleep disorder that affects the brain’s ability to control sleep wake cycles
If you think you or someone you know may suffer from sleep deprivation, make sure to look out for the signs. Here are a few:
● Feel drowsy
● Crave junk food
● Has trouble concentrating
● Reduce in physical strength
For those who suffer from sleep deprivation, there are a few ways to help! You can begin by regulating a sleep schedule. Make sure you are getting the right amount of sleep needed based on your age and activity level. When you go to sleep, make sure you create a cool, dark, and calm environment. Make sure to use naps sparingly. Limit exercise, exposure to light and mental stimulation before bed. There are apps you can use via your phone or computer that can help you fall asleep. To learn more about sleep deprivation please check out https://www.myfuturehealth.com/usd/9