“It’s bedtime, Honey.” We have all heard that horrid phrase when we were little. We tried every excuse in the book to stay awake. As we grew older, though, we realized that we need sleep to live normal lives. Sleep is essential to life. According to Colliers Encyclopedia sleep is, “a state of suspended sensory and motor activity known to occur periodically in humans and other warm-blooded animals”(78).
If you don’t get enough rest you can experience something called sleep deprivation. sleep deprivation can have many negative outcomes. Some of these outcomes of sleeping only a few hours a night are lessening of your attention span, irritability, and fatigue. We know sleep deprivation is not good for our health but could it have positive outcomes?
Everybody needs sleep; it is the one thing in the world that is universal to everyone. As Sleep is common aspect to life, sleep deprivation is becoming more prevalent in today’s society. Why wouldn’t it be more common since stress is more abundant and the environment runs at a faster pace than it did fifty years ago? Just think of how many people have sleep disorders like insomnia (a disorder in which you can’t sleep), sleep apnea (a disorder in which you stop breathing momentarily during sleep), or even narcolepsy (a disorder where a person can fall asleep at any moment).
... difficult. Each type of sleep disorder has its own particular symptoms, but each results in some form of sleep deprivation.Symptoms You should wake ... be treated successfully.Common causes of sleep disorders Sleep disorders are mainly caused by changes in life style such as change in shift timings change ...
Sleep is the key to preventing these disorders. If you deprive a normal human being of sleep what happens? According to The Psychology of Sleep, “the effects of prolonged sleep deprivation are well known: a loss of efficiency in mental and physical functioning, irritability, and tendencies toward perceptual distortion and ideational confusion”(Foulkes 10).
Sleep deprivation could end up in serious health problems; therefore it is recommended that a person get their required sleep each night. Britannica encyclopedia suggests, “that an adolescent get six to nine hours of sleep a night”(876).
If you have ever been in college you know what an all-nighter is. However, this is not the most brilliant idea, unless you want to be depressed, irritable, and grouchy the next day. What if sleep deprivation could actually help some people? Depriving people who are severely depressed of sleep could actually lessen their depression.
When you think of depression, you think about people who hide from the world and cry. Lets say you are a very depressed person on antidepressants. You would think that you need a lot of sleep, but could sleep deprivation actually help decrease depression? Research has been done on the effect of depression and sleep deprivation. According to Thomas A. Wehr, “in a majority of patients with major depression, depression is sleep dependent”(548).
I, myself, have experienced bipolar depression and I know the only thing that I felt like doing was sleeping.
Bipolar, or manic depression is a form of depression where you swing from mood states of being depressed to states of mania (feeling like your on the top of the world.) The feeling of needing to sleep all the time actually made it worse. I wasn’t active and not forcing myself to get my mind off things by getting involved in extra curricular activities. Wehr says, “even a few hours of sleep deprivation can rapidly and dramatically reverse the symptoms of depression”(548).
Wehr also expresses that, “in depression, the process of awakening leads to the introduction into waking consciousness of repressed, painful associations that occur during sleep, leading to the development of depressed effects”(2604).
... to Sleep Deprivation An article published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine states one in five adults fail to get enough sleep during the night ... and is one of the first symptoms of depression (2). Prior research done on sleep deprivation studied full time workers and concluded that ...
This supports the fact that depressed people like to sleep a lot. When awake they get depressed and think about things. If they are kept awake long enough, they slowly get over getting depressed. When they are allowed to sleep their depression comes right back.
There have been many tests that have proven that sleep deprivation can help depression. One study stated this theory in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,
“We deprived 17 patients of sleep for 36 hours. Severity of depression and subjective arousal were assessed at baseline, during sleep deprivation and after 1 night’s recovery sleep. We found that severely depressed adolescents showed a significant decrease in depression severity, whereas depressed patients in remission and psychiatric controls worsened after sleep deprivation” (Naylor 1993).
So if you are depressed maybe you should stay up a couple nights and see what happens.
To treat depression using sleep deprivation you can use two methods, total deprivation and partial deprivation. The use of partial deprivation, letting the patient sleep during the first half of the night but not the second has proved to be more effective then letting a patient sleep the second half of the night and just stay up late. Wehr explains that “partial sleep deprivation, allowing as much as 4 hours of sleep per night can be as effective an antidepressant as total sleep deprivation”(548).
Patients with bipolar disorder can also benefit from sleep deprivation. It has been researched that individuals with bipolar disorder can be pulled out of their depressed state into a manic state by sleep deprivation. These manic states can cause sleep deprivation, which in turn will last for weeks and even months. Therefore, the treatment continues because the person is in a great mood and they feel like they need no sleep. Another aspect of depriving yourself of sleep is that if you continue to have bouts of no sleep every so often with the use of antidepressants, it can actually cure depression. Sleep deprivation can be used with antidepressants when the person has quit responding to the drugs prescribed by the psychiatrist, or when a person is just starting on antidepressants.
In conclusion, sleep affects everyone and is essential to life. If sleep is deprived then negative outcomes can occur like irritability and mood swings. Depressed people on the other hand are irritable and experience mood swings, so sleep deprivation has the opposite effect. Sleep deprivation can actually decrease depression and create mania in bipolar patients. Knowing this has helped me realize that after I stay up for a long period of time and get up early that I am in an incredibly good mood. Now I know that there is a reason for my mood elation.
... p. 959). Another cause of sleep deprivation is from the psychological stress wherein anxiety and depression frequently disturb sleep. A person can’t relax ... is more prone to sleep deprivation, in their condition they need to have more sleep, but a patient in a hospital is ... colleagues discovered the presence of apnea during sleep in a subgroup of “Pickwickian” patients (1965) that lead them to an ...