Why do we Sleep?
Consequences of Sleep Deprivation
The circadian rhythm refers to our internal biological clock that regulates the timing of periods of sleepiness and wakefulness throughout a twenty four hour period. The circadian rhythm dips and rises at different times of the day. It is natural for there to be dips in energy throughout the day, but if we achieve sufficient sleep the dips may be less intense.
Sleep is divided into four stages, each associated with different types of mental and physical activity. Each stage typically lasts from 90 to 110 minutes and is a vital part of getting quality sleep.
|Lower Thinking Ability||Research shows that after just 24 hours of sleep deprivation, there is an overall reduction of 6% in glucose reaching the brain. Glucose is one of the main energy sources for your brain to function well .|
|Slowed Reaction time||According to research, individuals that were sleep deprived took 14% longer to complete a task compared to individuals that were well rested .|
|Increased Likelihood of Errors||The same research mentioned above further showed that individuals who were sleep deprived made 20% more errors compared to individuals that were well rested .|
|Short-term memory loss||Sleep helps the brain form connections and link events, facts, and sensory data together. Without sleep the brain struggles with forming these connections. This makes it difficult to learn new things at a fast pace.|
|Suppression of immune system||Without sleep your body will direct energy sources elsewhere, often at the expense of your immune system. This will make you more susceptible to illnesses, such as a cold or the flu, which can lead to missed classes and late assignments.|
 Heffernan, Margaret. “Too Little Sleep: The New Performance Killer.” CBS News, 2011.
 Taffinder, NJ, McManus, IC, Gul, Y, Russel, RCG, Darzi, A. “Effect of sleep deprivation on surgeons’ dexterity on laparoscopy simulator.” The Lancet.
*This list is not exhaustive