Sleep Deprivation

1 January 2017

I wake up with the kids many mornings on only 4 or 5 hours of sleep. I suffer when I don’t get at least 7 hours of sleep. I am so groggy, miserable, irritable, and dreading what the rest of my day will be like. I tell myself within the first 5 minutes of waking up that I vow to go to bed at the right time only to do the same thing over again. Once in awhile I can not handle how tired I am so I will just close my eyes without noticing and then I am napping. When I nap it only hurts me so that I can’t fall asleep at a more regular bedtime.

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I spend a lot of time thinking about why I do this to myself and the answer is for my sanity. I need to have “me time”. The only time I feel like I can get it is after all 3 of my children are sound asleep for the night. I will only have a few more years of this, I tell myself. As soon as the kids are in school I can get all the “me time” that I want. I dream of being able to go to sleep at a decent hour on a regular basis. It will happen, eventually. When I do not get enough sleep my mood is unpredictable.

I go through spurts of being fine one minute and then moody and short the next. I am irritable, miserable, and just not likeable. You could say my behavior is erratic throughout the day. Not only is my mood affected but my brain does not function to full capacity. When I wake up in the morning I feel like my thinking is foggy. It takes me a lot longer to open my eyes and get my body moving. Once I am moving it is slow and groggy. My body is sore for a few hours from not getting an adequate amount of sleep.

The more days I do this it seems to get worse, “Because recuperation theories are based on the premise that sleep is a response to the accumulation of some debilitating effect on wakefulness they predict that these disturbances will grow steadily worse as the sleep deprivation continues” (Pinel, 2009, p. 355). Long term effects of sleep reduction are interesting. According to Biopsychology, few studies have been conducted to see how people do with sleep reduction. During nightly sleeping studies were done where several people reduced their sleep gradually by 30 minute increments for about 2 months.

After the subjects were allowed to sleep for however length of time they needed or wanted for 1 year. The most that all of the subjects needed or wanted to sleep was 5. 5 hours. When napping during the day tests have been conducted to where a person could possibly only need about 1. 5 hours of sleep per day with minimum adverse effects. Polyphasic sleep is where a person sleeps more than once per day. The test shows that a person sleeps for 15 minutes every 4 hours. This requires a few weeks for the individual to get used to but can be a positive experience where reports of concentration and joy from this type of sleep schedule.

There are people who suffer from sleep disorders. Two types of sleep disorders are insomnia and hypersomnia. Insomnia includes not being able to fall asleep and/or maintaining sleep for a length of time. Most cases showed the reason for insomnia was distributive sleeping. Examples being sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, snoring partner, or other sleeping problems. Hypersomnia include narcolepsy and cataplexy. Narcolepsy involves falling asleep while horseback riding, while eating, or performing gymnastics.

Cataplexy is where a person can lose their muscle tone while awake. An emotional experience usually triggers cataplexy. A person is completely conscious but will remain motionless for a few minutes. Drugs that can affect our sleep are hypnotic drugs, melatonin, and anithypnotic drugs. Hypnotic drugs, benzodiazepines, will help a person get to sleep. Some common names are Valium and Librium. The downside to benzodiazepines is that they are highly addictive. Melatonin is a hormone that promotes sleep or by regulating timing.

Antihynotic drugs are used to decrease a person from sleeping. Two classes of anihypnotics are stimulants (example amphetamines and cocaine) and tricyclic antidepressants. These are also highly addictive and decrease a person’s appetite. Long term effects of sleep deprivation can cause problems with my reference memory (where I put my keys last), and micro sleeps; where we close our eyes for a few seconds. According to Webmd. com chronic sleep deprivation can cause many heart problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, depression, and diabetes.

I have read many occasions that lack of sleep can also cause obesity. I love to sleep and yearn to have more of it. I feel that sleeping is an important part of our daily lives. I know that if I work hard at it I can add a few more hours to my sleep schedule. I know that I will feel better and my body will be thankful for it. References Peri, C. (2012). 10 Things to Hate About Sleep Loss. Retrieved from: http://www. webmd. com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/10-surprising-results Pinel, J. P. J. (2009). Biopsychology. Boston, MA: Pearson.

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