Sleep Deprivation is a severe, overlooked problem for our society and has many negative consequences not accredited to this disorder. A lot of the talk circulating these days is focused on self well-being. We are told from elementary school on to eat from all five food groups, exercise three to five times a week, wash our hands before we do anything, and to disinfect all surfaces in the kitchen to prevent the spread of ecoli and salmonella bacteria. Lectured to all young people are effects of smoking, alcohol, and the dangers of drugs, marijuana and the like. We are told that all these things could lead to our ultimate downfall and may cause a premature death.Order now
Drugs and alcohol can lead to depression and alter the mind, cigarettes lead to heart disease and lung cancer – everyone knows these facts. However, what is not focused on and given due recognition, is perhaps the most common of all health threats in our society. It is sleep deprivation- not getting enough sleep or, when attempting to do so, sleeping terribly or with discomfort. It is sleep deprivation that causes anxiety, stress, poor judgment, decreased productivity, accidents, and behavioral changes for the worse in many people today. Not recognizing this growing trend towards little or no sleep is what makes the situation so deadly.
As more and more people believe that they dont need that extra couple hours of sleep or that the contract deadline is much more important than a nights rest, lives are being lost and many others are having trouble functioning normally and living up to their full potential. Kennedy 2The history of sleep deprivation goes back to a time of great change known as the industrial Revolution. The industrialists were the first to encourage sleeping less and working longer; it was cost effective to work from sunrise to sunset. Men and women would rise at the crack of dawn and proceed to endure as long as sixteen-hour days, only to return at sunset to provide for a family and maybe have a chance to get a few hours of sleep. The invention of the light bulb by Thomas Edison only worsened the problem.
Now, to the delight of factory owners, the working classes could work extended schedules, night shifts, and rotating shifts by the light of the new bulb. These same practices occur today in addition to 24-hour access of televisions, computers and the internet, stores of all kinds, and public entertainment. It is documented that the average human adult needs about eight hours of sleep every night. However, the percentage that actually gets this amount is fearfully low. “Over the past century, Americans have reduced their average total nightly sleep by more than twenty percent, or two hours a night,” says Zimmer (4). For some people lack of sleep is caused by their own robbery of it from themselves, for some it is circumstances being control.
. . for others it is disorders and/or a condition called insomnia which deprives them. The ones that cheat themselves from a good nights rest have all the power in the world to correct their problem, but may not know what is happening and that something needs to change. This trend is caused by overachieving and trying to get 30 hours of productivity from a 24 hour day.
Macho men (“I dont need any more than five hours of sleep to be just fine”), and ignorant adolescents who would rather talk on the phone until three a. m. because its “just not cool to sleep a lot” are some of the worst offenders. Zammit puts this idea into laymens terms when he says “We steal hours from our sleep for work or play” (4). The decision of calling it a day or to keep working until you are finished is one that most people make daily. The choice to spend time doing other things instead of giving your body and mind the rest that is needs is one of the main causes of sleep deprivation.
How many people these days actually work a 40-hour week? For others it is unlucky circumstances such as bad work shifts, injuries, or the required care of a sick family member which .