By: Heather Davis, EdD
The article discusses the ill effect of Sleep deprivation as commonplace and its effects on cognitive function, health, and mood. It discusses the cost associated with it, the effect on employee performance and death related to it. This happens as lack of sleep leads to the slowing of reaction time, lack of alertness, attention, and vigilance, less is agreed-upon about the effects of sleep deprivation on higher level cognitive functions related to perception, memory, and executive functioning.
It discusses some of the important research the findings like
- In Dawson and Reid's 1997 study, they found that 24-hour wakefulness produces the same performance on a hand-eye coordination task as when those same subjects had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10%, the legal limit for intoxication in all 50 states.
- Killgore, et al., 2007 found that sleep-deprived individuals demonstrate frustration intolerance, lack of empathy and moral judgment, impulse control, and inability to delay gratification.
- Kahn-Greene et al., 2007 found that sleep deprivation also results in as much as a 25% increase in several dimensions of psychopathology such as clinical depression, anxiety, paranoia, mania, and borderline personality disorder.
- Zhong, et al., 2005 demonstrated that lack of sleep causes increases in serum norepinephrine, the neurotransmitter responsible for the fight-or-flight stress response that results in increases in blood pressure and inflammation within blood vessel walls, commonly associated with heart attacks.
- Knutson, Spiegel, Penev, & Cauter, 2007 found that lack of sleep also results in glucose intolerance, the body's ability to utilize consumed carbohydrates for energy instead of storing the calories as adipose tissue.
The article ends up bringing points for further discussion like
1. What strategies could we employ (or are you familiar with) to get teens and adults to get enough sleep, given our 24-hour society and prevalence of technology?
2. As educators, administrators and parents and healthcare practitioners, what practices do we [unintentionally] employ that place productivity on a pedestal oversleep, good health, and a balanced lifestyle?
3. What evidence (even if anecdotal) do you have that sleep has impaired your own performance or health?
Critique: This article discusses different research and their findings with no information on any particular research. It discusses the psychological and physical issue with sleep deprivation, but no issue with effect on actual applicability. The study highlights the effects of sleep deprivation both in adults and kids. Despite, numerous studies on the effects of sleep, more research is needed in validating the effect of sleep deprivation on higher cognitive functions and whether or not it has temporary or permanent effects. Also, with so much emphasis on the health consequences of sleep deprivation, organizations still do not give it as much seriousness or attention as needed.