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Juliana da Silva Ferreira


Consequences of Lack of Sleep in Human Beings Lives
It is commonly known that human beings need approximately 8 hours of sleep per night.
However, many people have seen this recommendation like something not applicable for daily
life. People have deprived themselves of a whole eight hours of sleep because of many reasons
such as job and college assignments, insomnia, fast pace life, and unlimited access to social
media. The obvious consequence is being sleepy the whole day after a shorter time of sleep.
However, according to Epstein, the deprivation of sleep might have greater consequences in
human beings lives. Some important areas that are affected are learning ability, mood and even
diet.
One good reason to stay awake late is college assignments. It`s not uncommon that
college students have many assignments, papers, lab reports and many other responsibilities
during their college years. Students just affirm that it is impossible having eight hours of sleep
per night due to their daily responsibilities, most of them will be glad with only six hours of
sleep per night. Although students might think that having less than eight hours of sleep is
acceptable, according to Stickgold, lack of sleep can cause problems in learning ability.
According to this author, when people are sleep deprived, they have a lack of attention, they lose
focus easily which make harder receiving information and keep it. All these symptoms occur
because the neurons are fatigued and they are not receiving, processing or accessing information
correctly. Because of those facts, people are no longer able to make good decisions or asses
situations which can disturb the learning process. Due to those inconvenient effects, it is an
intelligent idea schedule at least eight hours of sleep in order to better use the awaking time.

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Another area that can be affected by lack of sleep is peoples mood, and mood might
affect people`s sleep as well. People who are sleep deprived, have different behavior if compared
to their common behavior. They become stressful, sad, irritable, and more likely to lose control
when they have to handle hard situations. Research has shown that insomnia is one of the first
symptoms of depression. However, lack of sleep might be not only an effect but also a cause of
depression. According to Epstein, not only does sleep affect mood, but mood and mental states
can also affect sleep.( Epstein 2008). The sleep deprivation and all of its consequences may
develop or at least contribute to the development of psychological disorder such as anxiety, panic
disorder and depression.
One of the consequences of lack of sleep that people might not know is that it may affect
peoples diet. According to research, not only exercising, genetics or food affects diet but also the
amount of time that people sleep. It is commonly known that go shopping when you are hungry
increases the possibility of buying high calorie food. On the other hand, according to LeWine,
buying food when you are sleep deprived has the same effect. Also, deprived sleep may influence
on diet throughout other ways such as slowing the metabolism, transforming carbohydrate in fat
instead of burn it, and making cells not responding correctly to insulin, causing weight gain.
In addition, based on different sources, it is possible notice that lack of sleep has different
consequences in human lives. Like it was shown, the sleep deprivation can occur because of
insomnia, anxiety or like a consequence of depression. However, some people choose deprive
themselves because skipping some hours of sleep might seem the best way to gain time to finish
a job or a college assignment, but this sleep deprivation may bring countless consequences
against physical and psychological health of people. So, in order to use the awaking time in the

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best way possible, people should make some effort to keep an 8 hours sleep scheduled for each
night.

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Works Cited
Epstein, Lawrence J. "Adopt Good Sleep Habits." Healthy Sleep. Division of Sleep Medicine at
Harvard Medical School, 12 Dec. 2008. Web. 14 Oct. 2014. <http%3A%2F
%2Fhealthysleep.med.harvard.edu%2Fneed-sleep%2Fwhat-can-you- o%2Fgood-sleephabits>.
Epstein, Lawrence J. "Sleep and Mood." Healthy Sleep. Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard
Medical School, 15 Dec. 2008. Web. 19 Oct. 2014.
<http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/need-sleep/whats-in-it-for-you/mood>.
LeWine, Howard. "Lack of Sleep Boosts Food Purchases the next Day."Harvard Health Blog
RSS. Harvard Medical School, 06 Sept. 2013. Web. 21 Oct. 2014.
<http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/lack-of-sleep-boosts-food-purchases-the-next-day201309066663>.
Stickgold, R., JM Ellenbogen, and JD Payne. "Sleep, Learning, and Memory."Healthy Sleep.
Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, 18 Dec. 2008. Web. 19 Oct.
2014. <http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/benefits-of-sleep/learningmemory>.