The Cognitive Impairment and Physiological Illnesses

Topics: Sleep deprivation, Sleep, Sleep disorder Pages: 4 (1344 words) Published: March 2, 2008
Sleep is one of the body's mysterious functions that is required by all human beings. The function of sleep is still not fully understood, although a battery of experiments and a multitude of theories attempt to explain it. One of categories that falls under the study of sleep is sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation is an important study since it affects individuals, groups, and the environment. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation affects a large amount of the human population, afflicting millions in America alone. Studies has shown that the loss of sleep time correlates to lowered cognitive performance and impaired mental activity, coupled with physical problems that turn into problematic medical illnesses.

People of all ages, occupations, and races have experienced times where they are at a loss of sleep. Sometimes, those people are able to recover lost sleep by sleeping more on other days, typically weekends or days without work. However, there are others who have a chronic problem with sleeping which leads to problems with their health, work, and mental abilities. The first visually noticeable things about a sleep-deprived people is their mental performance and ability to stay alert. Lowered performance in this area is a cause for alarm in certain occupations that involves the safety, health, and even the very lives of other people. Long-term sleep problems eventually affects the physical health of a person. Sleep deprivation has been associated with high blood pressure, obesity, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.

Since sleep deprivation is a widespread condition, studies are done to gain a better understanding about sleep and the effects of limiting the amount we get. This could ultimately lead to better treatments to help the millions around the world. It could also produce more information about sleep in general and its function to the brain and the body. Experiments have shown that cognitive degradation occurs with sleep deprivation,...
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