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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Sleep deprivation affects health risks, lack of focus

Sleep+deprivation+is+a+condition+people+can+seek+help+for.+The+human+brain+needs+sleep+to+rest%2C+concentrate+and+process+the+day%E2%80%99s+events+into+memories.+Bogdan+Sierra+Miranda%2FThe+Collegian
Sleep deprivation is a condition people can seek help for. The human brain needs sleep to rest, concentrate and process the day’s events into memories.

Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian

By Hieu Truong/ reporter

At times, students who are sleep deprived may visit a TCC health center because they feel dizzy or have a headache not realizing that lack of sleep can affect them physically and mentally, a SE nurse said.

Sleep deprivation is a condition people can seek help for. The human brain needs sleep to rest, concentrate and process the day’s events into memories. Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian
Sleep deprivation is a condition people can seek help for. The human brain needs sleep to rest, concentrate and process the day’s events into memories.
Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian

“Sleep is important because it is when the body restores itself,” health services coordinator Liz Lowry said. “Sleep deprivation can affect concentration, the ability to remember information, affects hand-eye coordination and decision making.”

Lowry encourages students to check out the brochure on sleep deprivation published by the National Institutes of Health.

The brochure discusses five phases of sleep. The first stage is where sleepers are in the light sleep stage. Then in the second stage, brain waves slow down, and there are no eye movements.

During stages three and four, sleepers are in a deep sleep. The final stage is called rapid eye movement sleep. This stage causes sleepers to dream. People spend about two hours dreaming.

Sleep allows the body and brain to rest. Also, sleep helps thoughts and events that took place throughout the day to be processed into memories.

The amount of sleep depends on age. For example, babies need at least 16 hours of sleep, and teens need about nine hours. However, adults need seven to eight hours of sleep, according to the National Institutes of Health.

“Students are taking in vast amounts of new information, and they should aim for at least six hours of quality sleep each night,” Lowry said.

Lack of sleep can cause drowsiness and lack of focus. It can compromise the immune system, which makes it harder to fight off colds.

Also, hallucinations and mood swings can occur in sleep deprivation.

“Staying up all hours to study actually impairs their ability to concentrate and remember new information,” Lowry said.

While studying for finals, SE student Kim Nguyen struggled to get enough sleep. Studying and staying out late at night caused her to be fatigued and lose focus.

“I still don’t get the full recommended eight hours, but I try my best to do things that are good for my health, such as working out or having some me time,” she said. “Honestly, anything that gets me to relax.”

SE student Michael Tran has experienced lack of sleep. As a result, he said he was not alert in class and was constantly tired.

Tran said he also experienced delirium, which caused him to be confused and hallucinate. Sleep deprivation led him to be agitated with his friends and family.

“I tried to be better with my time management,” he said. “I’ve learned to divide my tasks into small groups that can be finished over a span of days instead of completing them all at once.”

Sleep deprivation occurs in people of all ages affecting social life and health.

Different methods such as less caffeine, daily exercise, warm baths or medicines can help with this disorder.

Students struggling with lack of sleep can get help at any campus health services office.

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