Don’t Sleep On This


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Tired sleepy woman yawning, working at office desk and holding a cup of coffee, overwork and sleep deprivation concept

Today, I hear many people say things like “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” or “I’ll just pull an all-nighter,” which is a dangerous mindset that creates unhealthy habits.

Sleep should be one of peoples’ top priorities, but voluntary and involuntary sleep deprivation has significantly worsened in recent decades. In 1910, the average person slept around 9 hours per night, but now the average American only gets around 6.8 hours of sleep per night. Additionally, 31% more adults are getting less than six hours of sleep than adults in 1985.

Sleep deprivation can be intentional or unintentional. Teenagers and young adults are more likely to suffer from intentional sleep deprivation, according to Medical News Today. A demanding job or a great deal of schoolwork can cause a person to choose to lose sleep. Other people suffer from unintentional sleep deprivation, which can be caused by hormone imbalances, depression, or many other medical issues. 

A significant lack of sleep can lead to a short term lack of focus with dangerous consequences that can make the individual less productive and more likely to make slight errors. A lack of focus can also cause people to make dangerous, even life-threatening mistakes, such as not noticing a stop sign on the road and causing a car crash. In addition, serious, long-term health issues can result from a prolonged lack of sleep, including higher blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease or a heart attack.

Occasional lack of sleep can usually be cured by a few simple changes. For example, avoid afternoon naps or avoid eating a large meal or exercising within two hours of going to bed.

I encourage you to value your health over everything else. Next time you consider staying up late to work on a school project or watch another episode of your favorite show, remember the dangerous consequences that can result from sacrificing sleep.