Sleep Deprivation Causes the Problems to the Body

by. Dewi Lestari Handayani

Sleeping is the activity that can not be erased in human’s needs. People need to sleep in order to maintain the body function. However, there are times when people put their works as a majority and deprive their sleep to finish their works that makes them don’t get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation may disturb the body function. It can lead to serious condition to the physical and mental state. There are some results that caused by sleep deprivation, such as impairment of brain, weight gain, and death.

Sleep deprivation can cause the impairment of brain function. Sleep is needed to regenerate certain parts of the body, especially the brain, to function optimally. However, when sleep deprivation occurs, it affects the regenerate process in the brain, especially the frontal lobe. Its functions are associated with speech and creative thinking. Sleep deprived test subjects have found the difficulties in thinking of imaginative words or ideas, reacting well to unpredicted rapid changes, making the quick but logical decision, doing something well in sleep deprived person, and delivering a statement well. These are because in sleep deprived person, the brain’s ability to function quickly worsens. The brain works harder to neutralize sleep deprivation effects, but operates less effectively that leads in dropping concentration levels and impairing memory.

The next result of sleep deprivation is gaining the body weight. The amount and quality of the sleep affects hormone level, especially the level of leptin and ghrelin. Leptin affects the feeling of fullness and satisfaction after a meal, and ghrelin stimulates appetites. When sleep deprivation occurs, the level of leptin decrease, yet ghrelin’s level increase. In this condition, sleep deprived person can not control his feeling of hungriness. He will always feel hungry since hormone that is controlling the fullness decrease. It makes him eating more without really getting satisfied by what he eats. If that condition occurs continuously, it may gain his body weight.

The last result of sleep deprivation is death. This is the worst case that can occur in continuous sleep deprivation. Usually, this is the result of the decreasing of immune system. The number of white blood cells within the body decreases as does the activity of the remaining white blood cells. Adults need about eight hours of sleep and tend to need less sleep as they age while teenagers and primary school children need about nine to ten hours. A study found that total sleep duration of seven hours per night over a week has resulted in decreased speed in tasks of simple reaction time, total sleep duration of five hours per night over a week shows decrease in speed and accuracy failure, and total sleep duration of less than four hours per night are three times more likely to die within the next six years. Moreover, it was found that sleep deprived rats die within two to five weeks.

Sleep deprivation can impair the function of brain, gain the body weight, and if this condition occurs continuously to a person, it can lead to die. These are clear that no matter what happen, or how busy someone is, he needs to sleep to maintain his condition. With a good amount and quality of sleep, our physic and mental appearance will be in a good condition and can prevent the problems to the body that makes us ready to face the day.


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