Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.

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Effects of Sleep Deprivation

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A common consensus at Academic Magnet is that students do not get enough sleep. In the halls, juniors are often overheard saying, “I stayed up until 2am last night working on my ROL for tomorrow’s deadline. I am exhausted!” I decided to research the effects of sleep deprivation in order to understand the Academic Magnet student body’s state of exhaustion.

Sleep loss and poor quality of sleep has been shown to lead to car accidents and injuries on the job. Without enough sleep, alertness, concentration, reasoning and problem solving are impaired which affects performance at school. Additionally, a lack of sleep may constitute weight gain as it stimulates cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods. People who sleep less than 6 hours a night are thirty times more likely to become obese than those who sleep for 7 to 9 hours. Depression and anxiety are heightened with little sleep which in turns causes impulsive, irrational behavior.

On the contrary, a good night’s sleep boosts immunity and mental well-being. Sleep affects stress and cholesterol levels which prevents heart disease and leads to better control of blood pressure.  Your brain appears to recognize and form strong connections which spurs creativity and learning. Not only does sufficient sleep help improve grades, but also improves athletic performance by increasing stamina and energy level.

Several studies have shown that getting less than 6 to 8 hours of sleep per night increases your chance of early death by 12 percent. Unfortunately, stimulants like caffeine are insufficient in combating your body’s need for sleep. These drinks may temporarily boost your energy, but ultimately lower your immune system. The best way to relieve exhaustion is to add an extra hour or two of sleep a night on the weekend and gradually increase your sleep over the next few months to a normal level. Instead of staying up extremely late on school nights, it is better to get to bed early and be more focused the next day. Sleep is incredibly important to maintaining health and should be a priority for Magnet students.

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