The phrase, “We can sleep when we’re dead!”, is a phrase that is being thrown around all the time by teenagers. As much as teens and young adults may want to believe that they can function properly without sleep, new studies are showing that being sleep-deprived may lead to mental illness.
You might ask yourself, what exactly constitutes sleep deprivation?
People who sleep less than five hours fall within a high-risk category for sleep deprivation and a higher probability of becoming mentally ill. Clinically speaking, people who rest for eight to nine hours per night are considered to have normal sleeping patterns. One of the things keeping people from getting the recommended rest is modern technology. Young adults between the ages of 17 and 24 are becoming more and more distracted by the Internet at night, which is causing them to sleep less. The consumption of energy drinks throughout the day is also thought to be a contributing factor. This unhealthy trend of continued lack of sleep is becoming more and more prominent in today’s world.
With that being said, interesting statistics have been documented according to researchers from the George Institute for Global Health in Australia regarding the effects of sleep deprivation. The researchers in Sydney, Australia analyzed sleeping habits of over 20,000 people ages 17-24 and discovered that over 50 percent of those slept less than six hours had comparatively higher levels of psychological stress, weighed against those study participants who got eight to nine hours of sleep.
Doctors and Psychiatrist’s are stating numerous anecdotes tied to the results of this new study. Professor Nick Glozier, who officially led the study in the previous paragraph states, “”Over the past few decades young adults have been sleeping fewer and fewer hours, whereas the rest of us have generally been sleeping more hours.”
To me, this is very true. For the generation of kids growing up in the late 90’s through the 2000’s, technology has been advancing and continuing to grow more and more attractive to the younger crowd. Spending increased hours on the Internet between Facebook, online games, or mere Internet browsing is appealing because many find it fun and exciting. An element of the behavior is addicting as well. To many within this generation of advancing technology, the pay-off is worth it. Engaging in Internet activities is so exhilarating, giving up sleep is apparently a worthy trade-off.
All in all, this study helps alert the public to the effects that can occur by not getting enough sleep. Yes the phrase ”We can sleep when we are dead!” is a catchy and “cool” phrase. Yet, hopefully many young adults like me will read about the correlation between sleep deprivation and possibly suffering from a mental illness and feel that sleep deprivation does not seem to be appealing as it may have been previously.