Chronic Sleep Deprivation and Health Brody, J Term Paper

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Chronic Sleep Deprivation and Health

Brody, J.E. Personal Health: At Every Age, Feeling the Effects of Too Little Sleep; the New York Times. (October 23, 2007).

All mammalian species have a need for regular sleep and while it is clear that sleep provides a restorative function, scientists do not yet understand its precise biological function (Siegel, 2005). Numerous prior research studies have established the link between sleep deprivation and impaired attention and daytime mental acuity, but more recent evidence has suggested that chronic sleep deprivation is directly related to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, in addition to playing a role in depression and behavioral difficulties (Brody, 2007). Combined with the fact that chronic sleep deprivation is considered a social epidemic throughout modern American society, the link between it and some of the most prevalent major health issues makes understanding the precise functions and mechanisms of sleep even more important than previously suspected (Siegel, 2005).

Circadian Rhythms:

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All mammals sleep in patterns that correspond to their species, whether they are active during the day (diurnal) or at night (nocturnal). These circadian rhythm cycles are controlled by the sun and vary significantly both among different species as well as in each species at different periods of development. Human infants, for example, sleep for approximately 16-18 hours per day, although rarely for periods of more than 3-4 hours at a time. By three months of age, human infants automatically begin to sleep more at night and by the age of six, natural patterns emerge that make some of us "night owls" and others early risers (Brody, 2007).

TOPIC: Term Paper on Chronic Sleep Deprivation and Health Brody, J.E. Assignment

According to the experts, children need more sleep than adults, and the vast majority of us regularly sleep less than we need because of our daily schedules and responsibilities. The need for sleep actually increases shortly before and during puberty, which makes the problem even worse, because during puberty, adolescents begin producing melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone, at approximately 1:00 AM, which is three hours later than in adults. The fact that multimedia entertainment and Internet access is available 'round the clock seems only to add to the temptation to stay up long into the night (Brody, 2007).

Sleep Deprivation in Modern American Society:

study of nearly 70,000 school-age children between 6 and 17 conducted in 2003 revealed a rate of chronic sleep deprivation that suggests that as many as 15 million students under the age of 18 get much less sleep than they need. Another study involving

7,000 students in Minnesota monitored the benefits of changing school start times from 7:15 to 8:40 and determined that later school hours enabled students to reduce their… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Chronic Sleep Deprivation and Health Brody, J."  Essaytown.com.  November 17, 2007.  Accessed September 26, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/chronic-sleep-deprivation-health-brody/668086.