Airan is interested in investigating the social and health issue in Asia. Airan also doing research on effect of sleep disorder to health.
Do you konw?
Many people believe that if they can "get by" with only 4 or 5 hours of sleep the next day, this must be sufficient. But 5 hours of sleep may be insufficient for the body.
Your mind may need much more rest. Sleep is important for brain function. Throughout the night, the sleeping brain is very busy performing a variety of physiological, neurological and biochemical tasks.
These are essential for everything from sustaining life to restructuring and improving thinking and memory.
1) Affects Memory
Colonel Gregory Belenky, the U.S. military's highest-ranking sleep expert, has shown that "prolonged wakefulness degrades brain function."
Belenky's high-tech brain scans show that chronic sleep deprivation reduces the working capacity of the entire brain, weakening especially the brain regions responsible for attention, complex planning, mental functions, and judgement.
Of much greater concern is the brain's difficulty in recovering from sleep loss. After 48 hours of rest, the test participants still made more mistakes than at the beginning.
Researchers at the UCSD School of Medicine hypothesize that sleep deprivation damages the brain because certain patterns of electrical and chemical activity that normally occur during sleep are disrupted, impairing the brain's ability to function normally.
Impaired judgment caused by decreased brain activity poses an immediate safety risk to industrial workers, drivers, and others engaged in high-risk occupations.
2) Slows Mental Processes
A total of 50 studies on mental function and prolonged sleep loss have consistently shown that prolonged sleep loss (or sleep debt) can affect our brain functions.
According to research, missing just 4 hours of sleep in a single night can cause a person's reflexes to be 45 percent slower.
A person's reaction time can double if they lose the equivalent of a full night's sleep.
Sleep deprivation has a direct impact on our cognitive function and mental performance. Constant sleep deprivation can affect our memory processes, especially our short-term memory (or immediate memory), which helps us remember information.
It can also limit our ability to solve difficult and novel situations by impairing our logical thinking and creativity.
As sleep deprivation worsens, we become more and more like machines, responding with a pre-programmed or mechanical set of behaviours. Anything out of the norm causes us to make mistakes.
Reduced brain activity and memory impairment can have an impact on children's grades in school and adults' work performance.
3) Affects Creativity
British researcher James Horne says in an article published in Journal Sleep that even a sleepless night can affect our most creative type of thinking, known as divergent thinking, which involves spontaneity, flexibility and originality.
This type of thinking is used in creative endeavors such as writing or painting and is essential in an emergency to act in novel ways.
According to Horne, losing a single night's sleep impairs our ability to explore multiple approaches to a topic or to produce fresh or unusual thoughts. The mind gets stuck in a rut and falls back on old habits.
This means that staying up all night to prepare for a multiple-choice exam is OK, but not ideal for a test that requires creative responses, such as essay writing or analysis.
It was found that subjects who went 32 hours without sleep scored only 1/3 to 2/3 as well as rested subjects, he said. In word tests, sleep-deprived subjects often wrote the same word over and over and then crossed it out.
4) Prevents Learning of New Skills
Sleep is necessary for learning. Experiments have shown that "procedural memory" is consolidated during sleep and is used to learn the "how" rather than the "what." A good night's rest helps when learning a piano piece or a new sport.
Our brains need sleep to store new knowledge in memory for later use. When we sleep, the same parts of our brain that are busy learning new activities when we are awake are still busy processing information.
It's hard to concentrate or learn new things if you don't get enough sleep. This is why sleep is important for strengthening motor skills, such as playing a musical instrument or participating in sports.
According to a new study at the University of Luebeck in Germany, experimental participants who had slept for 8 hours were able to complete a newly learned motor skill (a dexterity exercise consisting of a sequence of finger-to-thumb taps) faster (33.5 percent) and more accurately (reduced error rate by 30.1 percent) than those who had remained awake.
5) Poorer Work Performance
Offices in the United States say that sleepiness at work affects concentration and the amount of work done, and makes it harder to deal with stress at work.
People who often lack sleep tend to feel stressed and insecure. They make poor judgments and hold on to them even when they are obviously wrong.
Some even begin to feel useless and guilty for not keeping up. They often lose motivation as well. They become disinterested in the work they are doing. They don't care about the details and therefore don't cheque their work, no matter how important it is.
As a result, mistakes occur and when they are discovered, the employees' feeling that things are out of control increases.
Persistent sleep deprivation also affects the ability to focus on a task for an extended period of time. A lapse in sustained attention can result in a number being omitted from a column and a series of calculations not being completed correctly.
This can lead to placing the wrong order or making the wrong judgement about the return on investment. It can also be problematic for jobs that require vigilance, such as the work of a radar operator who must keep his eyes constantly on the screen to detect important information that rarely arrives.
Sleep deprivation and sleep disorders cost the American economy at least US $150 billion (about RM690 million) a year in lost productivity and fatigue-related accidents, according to Cornell University psychologist and sleep specialist James Maas.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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