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What happens when you miss your sleep?


IT MIGHT have been worth staying up for, but the next day we usually
feel the consequences - we're tired, grupy and have difficulty
concentrating! "nd why#
$ecause we're sleep-deprived! %tudies have revealed that effects range
fro weight loss and irritability to an increase in accidents and even
attepted suicides! %T&'H"(I& )I(%&* explains ! ! !
%+&&' is one of the ost popular research topics in psychology, yet
there are still few definitive answers about this ysterious daily period
of inactivity!
'rofessor ,hris Id-i.ows.i, chairan of the *oyal %ociety /f Medicine's
0oru /n %leep and director of the %leep "ssessent "nd "dvisory
%ervice, says1 'I still don't thin. we really .now why we need sleep!'
There are two theories! 0irst, we sleep in order to conserve energy,
because even though our brain activity reains high during sleep, our
physical activity is .ept at a iniu!
$ody teperature is lowered by one to two degrees celsius when we
sleep, so our etabolic rate consequently drops by 23pc!
%econd, sleep is a chance for the brain to reorganise the eory and
the body to repair itself!
There are two basic types of sleep1 rapid eye oveent 4*&M or
'dreaing'5 sleep and non-*&M sleep, and during the night our brains
follow cycles of sleep!
&ach cycle begins with non-*&M sleep1 stages one, two, three and four,
which are characterised by different patterns of brain waves! Then,
these stages quic.ly reverse and end in *&M sleep, which is the
dreaing period!
&ach of these coplete cycles lasts between 63 and 733 inutes - but,
as the night continues, there is generally less 'deep' sleep 4non-*&M
stages three and four5 and ore dreaing 4*&M5 sleep!
/ur bodies behave differently during *&M and non-*&M sleep! 8uring
non-*&M sleep, the heart rate lowers, breathing slows, uscles relax
and blood flows ore easily through the body! Melatonin, the sleep-
inducing horone, and growth and thyroid horones are also released!
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8uring *&M sleep, there is an increase in brain activity and
teperature, the eyes ove rapidly, uscles twitch, and blood pressure
and heart and breathing rates start showing rapid variations!
9hile any parts of the body can rest while we are awa.e but relaxing,
soe parts of the brain's cerebral cortex see unable to do so!
&ven when we lie relaxed but awa.e in a dar.ened and silent roo,
sections of the cerebru stay in a state of 'quiet readiness', prepared to
respond iediately! The only tie these areas appear to rest is during
deep sleep!
Interestingly, the syptos we suffer when we're sleep-deprived see
to relate to the functions of the cerebral cortex - naely concentration,
speech, eory, and flexible and inventive thin.ing!
However, people differ in the aount of sleep they need!
%cientists "lbert &instein and Thoas &dison had widely differing sleep
habits! &dison is claied to have disissed sleep as a 'waste of tie',
although he too. naps during the day! &instein, on the other hand, said
he needed ten hours' sleep every night!
TH& extrees are even ore interesting - in 76:; a 7<-year-old
"erican, *andy Gardner, stayed awa.e continuously for 77 days and
72 inutes, although he suffered fro lac. of coordination and
concentration, hallucinations, blurred vision, slurred speech and
eory lapses!
In 76=3, ,alifornian *obert Mc8onald reportedly stayed awa.e for a
record 7= days, 27 hours and >3 inutes!
'rofessor Id-i.ows.i says1 ',oncentration and eory are aong the
first functions to suffer when we're lac.ing sleep! Irritability increases
and unintended sleep is the biggest danger!' Indeed, drivers who fall
asleep at the wheel through lac. of sleep ay trigger at least 7,;33
accidents every year in "erica!
?aes Maas, 'rofessor of 'sychology at ,ornell @niversity, (ew Aor.,
believes that any people are constantly running a two-hour sleep
deficit!
'?ust an extra hour or two causes huge rebounds in happiness,
productivity and creativity,' he says!
Reference: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/What+happens+when+you+miss+your+sleep%3F-a010!0"#3
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