After reading the Sleep Revolution post by Arianna Huffington on LinkedIn, I wondered: are we depriving ourselves of sleep intentionally or is loss of sleep outside of our control?
Here is another interesting question: When was the last time you slept like a baby? I mean deeply, peacefully, restfully?
Humans have a biological clock that regulates our bodily functions, of which one is sleep. We need sleep; it's vital to survive. We can't do without it. A friend of mine and I were discussing sleep habits and I asked him how much sleep we really need. He stated that 8 hours is the recommended time we needed to be truly rested. Some people say they need only 5 hours, some others need 9. Sleeping is a physiologic mechanism that we normally can't control...now, reality is quite different.
Due to their profession, some groups of people are familiar with sleep deprivation. These are often people in the military, law-enforcement, medical field, etc. However, their familiarity with sleep deprivation does not mean they do so intentionally. They do their job for our everyday safety and we must thank them for their service.
Sleep deprivation is a public health issue. Choosing colleges to spread the pro-sleep movement is great, because the alarm must be raised at a very early stage of life. Moreover, I think, before entering the working world, everyone should learn healthy habits.
Campuses are temples of endless partying. As I learned it, every university in each state in the U.S. has its own special brand of celebration. And colleges even compete with one another to be known as the best place to party! College partying is an institution, and if you are not in, then you're out. Young adults live life to the fullest and become careless of the negative impacts on their health. Now, I am not condemning anything - I used to party too.
My poor sleep habits began in high school. I would stay up all night studying for my exams and I passed. The hard work and bad habits paid off.
Several years later, in my thirties, I went to a nightclub and caught myself sleeping. I understood in that moment that staying up the whole night partying was no longer good for me. I needed to slow down and find some healthier outlets.
Today, I write. The fact is, inspiration often comes very late at night. I am more efficient from midnight to three a.m. But, on the whole, I am not very well-organized so I work late.
Here in France, a study was conducted about teenagers having problems with sleep because of today's numerous new technologies for information and communication. The fact that these devices are easy to use cause teenagers to carry them in bed, very late in the night thus sleep deprivation occurs.
Severe personal consequences
My health suffers as I observe physiologic damages due to sleep deprivation.
My cognitive functions are less accurate. I am a less agile thinker.
I have difficulties speaking. Bad moods take over, and I find myself less motivated. To sum it up, I don't fully reenergize. Those are only some of the symptoms of sleep deprivation I have experienced.
Stress and overthinking occasionally lead to sleep disorders like insomnia, causing some individuals to lose sleep. Coffee and caffeinated drinks are not helpful at all; if you don't feel like partying all night, be courageous enough to speak your mind and tell your friends. Put your health first!
Remember, those who have good sleep habits are the sturdiest ones. Challenge yourself to sleep seven to nine hours every night. I practice this and I can assure that I am full of energy the next morning ready to face new challenges. What if you start to apply this counsel too?