The US is a sleep-deprived society, and the situation is getting worse. According to the National Sleep Foundation, about 30 million Americans have chronic sleep disorders. Over 20% of the nation is getting less than 6 hours of sleep a day, and that proportion is increasing from one year to another (Davis, 2020). The consequences of so many people in the US not getting enough sleep cannot be overstated (Kail & Cavanaugh, 2018). Chronic sleeping disorders result in decreased work performance, a higher likelihood of accidents (including road accidents), increased irritability, a despondence to conflict, and vulnerability to mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression.
The amount of sleep received on an everyday basis affects one’s health, emotions, and performance and can have a significant effect on a person’s life. The immediate consequence of poor sleeping is sleep inertia (Konnikova, 2015). Everyone has it when they wake up, but for those who do not have enough sleep, it lasts much longer. Sleep inertia results in a loss of focus, general discomfort, and slower reaction times (Konnikova, 2015). Short-term consequences of sleep deprivation can be comparable to alcohol poisoning. A person who sleeps for six hours instead of 8 for two weeks starts acting as though he or she has 0.1 percent alcohol in their blood (Davis, 2020). The situation may get worse and become chronic. Emotional control and learning are inhibited, which greatly affects students.
Long-term consequences to one’s health are severe as well. Metabolic and endocrine problems are more commonplace in people with chronic sleeping disorders (Davis, 2020). Immune processes are also taking a hit, becoming less responsive to various diseases, thus making the individual vulnerable. Finally, people who sleep less are more prone to cancer (Davis, 2020). Therefore, sleep deprivation on a societal level leads to severe long-term decreases in the quality of life.
Davis, K. (2020). What to know about sleep deprivation. Web.
Kail, R. V., & Cavanaugh, J. C. (2018). Human development: A life-span view. Cengage Learning.
Konnikova, M. (2015). The walking dead. Web.