Sleep Deprivation Disorder and Drugs

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Sleep is of vital importance in keeping our body and mind healthy.

I realized the significance of sleep in our lives from an experience I once encountered wherein I was not able to get enough sleep. When I was working for a school project barely two months ago, I did not sleep from 7 p. m. to 7 a. m.

, because the day after would be the deadline for the said project. Thus, in order to stay awake and boost my energy, I munched on some cookies and chips and drank several cups of coffee, or else I would not be able to complete my project. On my way to school, I was so sleep-deprived that I found myself dozing off while riding my school bus.I knew I had to get to school early so that I would not miss my first subject, but part of my brain tells me that I need to go home and take some rest.

Physically, my body just wanted to sleep anywhere it was comfortable to do so, such as on the school chair or even on top of my professor’s table. During class, I was not my usual energetic self who always participated in the class activities and recitations. After a few hours of having classes, I began to get leg cramps, and I felt like I acquired an eating disorder, as I barely touched my meal during our lunch break. I also had stomach problems as I ate my meals at an unusual time.However, those were just the start of the problems brought by my lack of sleep.

When I arrived home, I became moody and temperamental. I am usually a kind sister, but I found myself constantly yelling at my brother and became physical with him for the slightest infractions that did not deserve a beating. I also felt exhausted from doing even the simplest of house chores that my mother asked me to do. I looked unhealthy to most people because I received comments like I looked haggard, and I has dark rings around my eyes. I cannot blame them for thinking that way, as I was having health issues at the time.

I certainly looked my worst when I glanced at myself on the mirror. I saw a person with oily hair and dry skin and in dire need of a soak in the tub. That is how I looked physically—not a pretty sight, all because of being deprived of sleep. The effects of long-term sleep reduction do not only affect a certain aspect of a person but the total functioning of the individual. A person who continuously lacks sleep suffers from motor and speech problems, has perceptual difficulties, experiences memory and thinking problems, and undergoes some personality changes.

Sleep deprivation also results in increased negative mood state which may include fatigue, loss of vigor, sleepiness, and confusion. It may also depress the immunity of the person, causing him or her to become vulnerable to several diseases. If people are continually deprived of sleep, those who sleep at least four hours a night are three times more at risk to die within the next 6 years of his or her life (Ledoux, 2008). This is because chronic lack of sleep may have the tendency to gain weight which could possibly cause or exacerbate a heart disease or diabetes, which may later lead to death (Lim ; Dinges, 2007).Common sleeping disorders includes (1) Extrinsic sleep disorders brought about by drug usage and poor sleeping environment; (2) Intrinsic sleep disorders brought about by physical or psychological illness; (3) Circadian rhythm sleep disorders caused by changes in work schedule and jet lag; (4) Insomnia or trouble in falling asleep; and (5) Parasomnias or unusual sleeping activity which includes teeth grinding, bed-wetting, and sleepwalking (“Sleeping Disorders,” 2007).Possible remedies that may cure the aforementioned sleeping disorders are drugs containing (1) diphenhydramine (Benadryl), an antihistamine that can cure insomnia; (2) Benzodiazepines which are used for managing feelings of drowsiness upon waking up the next morning; and (3) Rozerem drug can also promote natural sleep and increases melatonin; (4) lastly I the drug called Melatonin, it is a hormonal drug that helps in regulating sleep in our body (“Sleeping Disorders,” 2007).

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