An Essay Concerning the Downsides of Deprivation of Sleep

February 11, 2018
By rubyxvii BRONZE, Wayland, Massachusetts
rubyxvii BRONZE, Wayland, Massachusetts
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michaelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children.

It’s late at night - so late it’s almost morning. You’ve been working for hours, trying to finish your essay, or presentation, or whatever it might be that you’re working on. The minutes pass by without heed to your desperate typing, try as you might to turn back time to get in even just a few more minutes of work. Is it even relevant work? Might you question yourself as to the purpose of the assignment, hope for an excuse to pop into your mind? But it’s been so long since you last had sleep, thinking does not come as easy as it should. In your sleep-deprived state of befuddlement you wonder if it was really worth staying up until this moment to try to get that higher grade. You consider trying to get some sleep to refresh yourself, and finish up tomorrow - rather, later today. Maybe you could stay home sick, or maybe you could try to bargain with someone that could gift you with more time, or maybe . . . .
Your thoughts continue on into your much-needed sleep…

Although this scenario probably didn’t recount a precise piece of your life, chances are you’ve experienced something similar to this some time during your many years on Earth. Sleep deprivation is a growing problem in our society; according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than a third of adults in the United States don’t get the recommended level of sleep. This situation has been quite rapidly inflating, with more people sleeping less (12% of people slept less than six hours in 1988; in 2009 it is up to 20% of people sleeping less than six hours per night), and less people sleeping more than eight hours per night (from 35% sleeping more than eight hours in 1998 to 28% in 2009).

Most likely you know that there are a plethora of negative effects that come with less sleep, like having difficulty remembering things, mood swings, increased blood pressure, depression, and other detrimental consequences, psychologically and physically. Furthermore, if you are without sleep for about seventeen hours, it is equivalent to having a blood alcohol content of 0.05; more than twenty sleepless hours is comparable to the legal limit for blood alcohol in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. (0.08% blood alcohol level). Car crashes and the deaths that inevitably come out of them are quite prevalent today; far more than a million people die each year from car crashes (with an extra twenty to fifty million injured), and sleep deprivation has been called “one of the top causes of car accidents.”

Like many things, this might not seem relevant to you at the moment, but if someone you knew got into a car crash that was caused by lack of sleep, I’d bet you would get much more invested in the topic. Happened to me; that’s part of the reason as to why this essay was written. So, why don’t we educate ourselves and learn how to prevent such disastrous things from happening in the first place? All these deaths and illnesses could be prevented, simply by going to bed a wee bit earlier. That’s really it; all you need to do is turn off the lights, lay down, and doze off…

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