So I’m sleep deprived. Very sleep deprived, insanely sleep deprived. So imagine my feeling of recognition when reading this article from the New York News & Features section which I stumbled upon while clicking on random links. And thank God I found it too. Here’s a snapshot with my little running commentary of the article. Click link to see full article.
Snooze or Lose
Overstimulated, overscheduled kids are getting at least an hour’s less sleep than they need, a deficiency that, new research reveals, has the power to set their cognitive abilities back years. By Po Bronson
“[H]as the power to set their cognitive abilities back years.”
I was wondering why I’ve been feeling like my brain cells have just been rotting away at the speed of light. I mean, it’s not like I’m not actually bashing myself on the head everyday, five times a day for the fun of it, I still go to school, so I’m forced to learn things, but WHERE OH WHERE has all that supposedly “learnt” information gone?! Apparently, my lack of sleep has caused me to have the mental and cognitive abilities of a seventh grader, or maybe even a fourth grader. Well, there goes my upcoming exams.
“Half of all adolescents get less than seven hours of sleep on weeknights. By the time they are seniors in high school, according to studies by the University of Kentucky, they average only slightly more than 6.5 hours of sleep a night. Only 5 percent of high-school seniors average eight hours.”
You want statistics? I’ll give you my statistics. I average about 6 hours sleep per weeknight, 6.5 hours max. And on weekends, it depends, but usually, it’s the same. So do the math. 6 times 7 equals 42 hours per week I’m sleeping, whereas I should be getting 56 hours per week. I’m missing out on 14 hours a week of sleep a night. 14 times 52(weeks in a year) equals 728 hours of sleep that I am missing out on per year. Whoa, that’s a hellava lot of sleep I’m missing out on. And my brains sure aren’t thanking me for it. Not to mention my racoon eyes and my baggy bags coupled with bloodshot eyes and a pasty complexion.
“With the benefit of functional MRI scans, researchers are now starting to understand exactly how sleep loss impairs a child’s brain. Tired children can’t remember what they just learned, for instance, because neurons lose their plasticity, becoming incapable of forming the synaptic connections necessary to encode a memory.”
I’m tired 24/7. I basically fall asleep in class and while I’m in the car to and from school, I try to catch up on the zzz’s. I get to school, nod through six hours worth of mumblings and then come home to the computer and straight onto the internet I go until about 1am or 1.30am every, single, night. I try to revise and concentrate, no really, I do. Sometimes in class, all I want to do is lie down and sleep, but I can’t, so I settle for the “head on hand, leaning forward so it looks like you’re reading but really, what you’re doing is sleeping but the teacher thinks you’re reading” because if I don’t, I end up doing the whole “I’m trying my hardest to stay awake, but my eyeballs and eyelids have mind of their own and are shutting down on me” thing which is really very embarrassing. What makes it even worse is that then, once I fall into a slumber, I hear nothing. Kapisch, nada. Therefore, I learn and remember nothing. No wonder I complain that my memory is like that of Dory’s. Furthermore, “a different mechanism causes children to be inattentive in class.” Wow, no shit Sherlock. You’d think that being asleep would cause you to be inattentive in class.
“A tired brain perseverates—it gets stuck on a wrong answer and can’t come up with a more creative solution, repeatedly returning to the same answer it already knows is erroneous.”
Shit, so that’s why I feel as though all my “creative juices” have run out and I can no longer come up with anything original or inventive. I thought I’d just simply ‘lost my spark’ and had the ‘creativity stamped out of me’ by all my classes.
“The more you learned during the day, the more you need to sleep that night. “
No comment. Abit late now, exams are in 2 weeks.
“Normally secreted as a big pulse at the beginning of sleep, growth hormone is essential for the breakdown of fat.”
I’ve been trying to not exactly lose weight, but to tone up and keep in shape. What have I done instead? Gained weight. Though I really can’t blame it all on my severe lack of sleep. I do binge eat alot and stuff my face at any given oppurtunity. =P What can I say? I love my food. However, this leads onto another thing, “on average, children who sleep less are fatter than children who sleep more.” So maybe I can blame alot of it on my sleeping habits after all.
“They all showed that kids who get less than eight hours of sleep have about a 300 percent higher rate of obesity than those who get a full ten hours of sleep.”
If you say so… But it’s impossible for me to get 10 hours of sleep! Even on weekends! *sighs* …*yawns*
“Sleep is a biological imperative for every species on Earth. But humans alone try to resist its pull. Instead, we see sleep not as a physical need but a statement of character. It’s considered a sign of weakness to admit fatigue, and it’s a sign of strength to refuse to succumb to slumber. Sleep is for wusses.”
Ah, no comment.
Come on, read the article please? It’s for your own good =]
Now that it’s 10.50pm, and I haven’t even touched my homework, I know I wont, so I may as well go to sleep. Work tomorrow, great, going to be falling asleep there.
*super sized yawn* zZz time…