Causes of Sleep Deprivation in Western Cultures

582 WordsFeb 20, 20182 Pages
In Western cultures, the biggest cause of sleep deprivation is stress mostly as a result of being sick, overworking and shift working, drugs, or examinations (Pinel, 2014). Sleep loss can lead to impairment in decision-making. Two studies have been conducted that look at twenty-four hours of sleep deprivation and focus on the effect it has on making complex decisions. Essentially, what is the effect of total sleep deprivation in decision-making? In 2009, David Schyner and his colleagues had the opportunity to subject fifteen participants to a total of twenty-four hours of sleep deprivation. They set up their experiment by asking participants to make a decision between two choices and then again between three choices. After a day of sleep loss, researchers found that participants showed a decreased ability to make integrative decisions between two choices, and the three choice tasks were significantly harder to make more so than the two choice task. And MRI of the participants showed an overall decrease in five regions of the brain versus a full night’s rest in terms of task-specific activity. Affected brain areas were the superior parietal lobe, which functions in spatial orientation; the superior frontal gyrus and the middle frontal gyrus, which, respectively, function in self-awareness in coordination with senses and processing higher information; the orbital frontal, the cognitive aspect of processing decision-making; and the inferior and medial polar frontal, which
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