A Social Dilemma Of Sleep Deprivation English Language Essay

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This chapter discusses a little background information of the study with the statement of the problem and the ways on how to collect data. Sleep. We cannot live without it, but sometimes we would like to. Sleep deprivation has become much more common in our hectic and demanding society.

Sleep deprivation refers to an extended period of time in which the body and mind are deprived of normal sleep. Sleep is important for the development and functioning of the human body and mind. Lack of sleep and stress can indicate the body is more vulnerable to diseases and virus attacks as well as reduced concentration and even radical mood swings. The various consequences of this habitual action show how prolonged loss of sleep can result not only in the impairment in mental functioning but also effects of the physiological ability of the body to function correctly and to fight diseases and the worst, this can lead to memory loss.

Too many instances regarding this problem are happening around the world. Employees are doing night shifts to finish the paperworks to be submitted on time to the boss. High school teachers and university professors are having hard time preparing the teaching methods to class composed of silent nerds and noisy bullies. College students are always burning their midnight candles to accompish an assignment full of mid-boggling equations and scientific terms or studying to hurdle nerve-cracking exams on the next day.

Sleep deprivation has become a serious threat to health in our contemporary society.

This paper will try to sum up the views of sleep-deprived persons and ideas of the experts regarding sleep deprivation.

Background of the Study

Most of us have a fondness of eating, drinking, working and playing. But the amount of time spent in these habits is not as much as the time most humans devote in sleeping. We sleep well for around 175,000 hours in our lifetimes.

Sleep plays a bioogical critical function. It allows our brain to rest and regenerate certain parts of the body that need repairing.

But as technology advances in our world, most urban people can't find time for limitless hours of sleep due to the increasing loads of work to be done either at the workplace or at school, without even knowing its adverse effects.

In this paper, the researchers interviewed a group of frequently sleep-deprived persons with regards to how they dealt with the things around them.

Statement of the Problem:

This thesis paper specifically aims to answer the following questions:

Who are more susceptible to sleep deprivation?

How will these people be able to cope up with the lack of sleep?

What are the disadvantages of not having enough sleep?

What is the ideal range of time when sleeping?

How important is normal sleep to the body?

Scopes and Limitations:

The study is only limited to the behavioral changes and the decline of the performance rate brought by a decrease of sleep based on the personal views of the persons being interviewed and scientific researches and not on the changes of the brain activity that will affect the entire body.

Data- gathering Procedure:

The study used the following procedures in obtaining the data:

Survey method

In the survey method, around 20 respondents will be asked to fill out a slip with questions regarding their sleeping habits.

Interview method

The perons to be interviewed will be chosen according to the following basis:

People doing night shift works (nurses, balut vendors, security guards and food chain workers)

The difficulty of work done during nighttime making them sleep-deprived

The number of times these people do these jobs overnight.


These data will be summed up by the researchers leading to their conclusions.

Review of Related Literature

This chapter tackles about the recent researches with regards to sleeping habits and problems and the elaboration of the topic.

Sleep is a normal, easily reversible, recurrent, and spontaneous state of decreased and less-efficient responsiveness to external stimulation. The state contrasts with that of wakefulness, in which there is an enhanced potential for sensitivity and an efficient responsiveness to external stimuli. (Britannica Library,Encyclopaedia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2010).

It is a naturally recurring state characterized by reduced or lacking consciousness, relatively suspended sensory activity, and inactivity of nearly all voluntary muscles. It is distinguished by from quiet wakefulness by a decreased ability to react to stimuli, but it is more easily reversible than hibernation or coma. Sleep is a heightened anabolic state, accentuating to the growth and rejuvenation of the immune, nervous, skeletal and muscular systems. It is observed in all mammals, all birds, and many reptiles, amphibians and fish.(Wikipedia.org)

How much sleep do we need?

The amount of sleep each person needs depends on may factors, including age. Infants, generally require 16 hours a day, while teenagers need about 9 hours on average. For most adults, 7 to 8 hours per night appears to be the best amount of sleep, although some people may need as few as 5 hours or as many as 10 hours of sleep each day. Women in the first three moths of pregnancy often need several more hours of sllep than the usual. The amount of sleep a person needs also increases if he or she has been deprived of sleep in the previous days. Getting too little sleep creats a "sleep debt", which is much like being overdrawn ata bank. Eventually your body will demand that the debt be repaid. We don't seem to adapt to getting less sleep that we need; that we may get used to a sleep-depriving schedule, our judgment reaction time and other functions are still impaired. (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)

Sleep dept refers to the effect of not getting enough rest and sleep; a large debt that causes mental, emotional and physical fatigue. Sleep debt results in diminished abilities to perform high-level cognitive functions. (Wikipedia.org)

People tend to sleep more lightly and for shorter time spans as they get older, although they generally need about the same amount of sleep as they needed in early adulthood. About half of all people over 65 have frequent sleeping problems such as, insomnia, and deep sleep stages in many elderly people often become very short or stop completely. This change maybe a normal part of aging, or it may result from medical problems that are common in elderly people and from the medications and other treatments for those problems. (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)

Experts say that if you feel drowsy during the day, even during boting activities, you haven't had enough sleep. If you routinely fall asleep within five minutes of lying down,you probably have severe sleep deprivation, possibly even a sleep disorder. Microsleeps, or very brief episodes of sleep in an awake person, are not aware that they are experiencing microsleeps. The widespread use of "burning the candle at both ends" in Western industrialized societies, as well as in the East, has created so much sleep deprivation that what is really abnormal sleepiness is now almost the norm. (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, emphasis ours)

Many studies make it clear that sleep deprivation is dangerous. Sleep-deprived people who are tested by using a driving simulator or by performing a hand-eye coordination task perform as badly as or worse that those who are intoxicated. Sleep deprivation also magnifies alcohol's effects on the body, so a fatigued person who drinks will become much more impaired than someone who is well-rested. Driver fatigue is responsible for an estimated 100,000 motor vehicle accidents and 1,500 deaths each year, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Since drowsiness is the brain's last step before falling asleep, driving while drowsy can- and often does- lead to disaster. Caffeine and other stimulants cannot overcome the effects of severe sleep deprivation. The National Sleep Foundation says that if you have trouble keeping your eyes focused, if you can't stop yawning, or if you can't remember driving the last few miles, you are probably too drowsy to drive safely. (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)

Sleep Deprivation in Animals

Although scientists are still trying to learn exactly why we, people need sleep. Animal studies show that sleep is necessary for survival. For example, while rats normally live for two to three years, those deprived of sleep survived only about five weeks on average and rats deprived of all sleep stages live only about three weeks. Sleep- deprived rats also develop abnormally low body temperature and sores on their tails and paws. The sores may develop because the rats' immune systems become impaired. Some studies suggest that sleep deprivation affects the immune system in detrimental ways. (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)

Effects of Sleep Debt to the Body

Sleep appears necessary for our nervous systems to work properly. When humans are totally deprived of sleep for several days, they may experience irritability, blurred vision, slurred speech, memory lapses, and confusion (Britannica Student Library,Encyclopaedia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2010). Too little sleep leaves us drowsy and unable to concentrate the next day. It also leads to impaired memory and physical performance and reduced ability to carry out math calculations. If sleep deprivation continues, hallucinations and mood swings may develop. Some experts believe sleep gives neurons used while we are awake a chance to shut down and repair themselves. Studies investigating the effects of deprivation of active sleep have shown that deprivation early in life can result in behavioral problems, permanent sleep disruption, decreased brain mass(Mirmiran et. al.,1983) and an abnormal amount of neuronal cell death(Morrissey, Dantley,and Anch, 2004).

Without sleep, neurons may become so depleted in energy or so polluted with by-products of normal cellular activities that they begin to malfunction. Sleep also may give the brain a chance to exercise important neuronal connections that might otherwise deteriorate from lack of activity. (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)

Sleep Problems

Sleep problems cause more than just sleepiness- a lack of quality sleep can cause accidents, affect your relationships, health and mental prowess; and make you feel generally "disconnected" from the world. If your sleepiness is caused by a tough deadline or a common cold, you might not have trouble getting your sleep back on track after the deadline or cold go away, but if you have trouble sleeping on a regular basis, managing common sleep problems and disorders can help you be well on your way to experiencing healthy, restorative sleep. (Helpguide.org)

There are many reasons for poor sleep. For example, excessive exposure to bright light within ours of bed time or simply resisting the urge to fall asleep can trigger a "second wind", which then contemporarily makes it difficult to fall asleep afterwards. Following sleep hygienic principles may solve problems of physical or emotional discomfort. When the culprit is pain, illness, drugs or stress, the cause must be treated. Sleep disorders (including sleep apneas, narcolepsy, primary insomnia, periodic limb movement disorder, and restless leg syndrome and circadian rhythm sleep disorders) are treatable. (Helpguide.org)


This part tackles the ways and means on how the research is done.

Research Design

This study is qualiquantiative in design since the data to be collected will be based on surveys and interviews. The study is partly qualitative in type for the reason that a part of the conclusion will be based on the interview and it is also quantitative for it will gather data from the survey to be conducted within the locality.

Research Locale

This study will be conducted in Tibanga, Iligan City, specifically in the sites where fast food workers and balut vendors are commonly seen at night. The participants of this study will be night shift workers specifically nurses, balut vendors, fast food chain workers, security guards and MSU-IIT students who are fequently doing overnight studies.

Research Procedure

The study will use interview and survey methods in obtaining data. This paper will interview people in Tibanga. The research will hand slips with survey questions to students and will collect the data 30 mins. After.

Research Instument

For the interview and survey questions to be used in the research, refer to Appendices A & B.

Interview Questions:

How many hours of work do you spend every night?

Do you get sleepy at work? How often?

How many hours do you spend in sleeping at daytime?

What do you feel when you are out from work?

How does sleepiness affect your work?

If you're experiencing sleepiness, what do you think is/are the cause/s?

What do you do to prevent sleepiness in times of work?

What do you think are the disadvantages of not having enough sleep at night?

Do you sleep at night or day? If so, how long?

What sleep disorers brought by sleep deprivation you're currently experiencing?

Survey Questions:

How many hours per night do you sleep?

__1-3 hours __11-15 hours

__4-6 hours __ no, i don't sleep

__7-10 hours

Do you sleep in the middle of your classses?

__ YES ___ NO

What do you do to cope with the lack of sleep?

__I sleep between my classes.

__I sleep more than my usual hours of sleep.

__I sleep early the next night.

If others, pls. specify:____

What do you do to fight sleepiness?

___I take multivitamins

___I drink beverages(coffee, milk, water)

___Watch late night T.V. shows

___I eat junk foods

If others, pls. specify:____

What do you experience when you don't have enough sleep?

___I feel drowsy during daytime

___I can't concentrate on my lessons

___I can experience hallucinations and mood swings

If others, pls. specify:____

How often do you get enough sleep in a week?

___1-2 days ____5-6 days

___3-4 days

Which of the ff. Sleep disorders brought by sleep deprivation are you currently experiencing?


____sleep apnea

If others, pls. specify:____

What do you think is/are the main reason(s) why you are bot getting enough sleep?

___computer games ____studies


If others, pls. specify:____

Is there any impact on your current performance in school due to this reason?

___ YES ___ NO

Are you aware of the disadvantages of being sleep-deprived?

___ YES ___ NO