How Sleep Affects The Brain

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Andrea Hill Mrs. Gumina English III March 20, 2014 11 Days Awake zzzzzz...are you tired? I know I am...of writing this paper! In fact most of the kids in class are probably tired too. Surprisingly, according to WebMD, about 20% of Americans get less than six hours of sleep on average a night (1).With all the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, it is understandable to push sleep off. Harvard University has conducted extensive research, discovering how sleep affects the brain; “given that a single sleepless night can cause people to be irritable and moody the following day, it is conceivable that chronic insufficient sleep may lead to long term mood disorders” (1). Just one night of not sleeping can put one in a bad mood, much less consistent loss of sleep. But how does lack of sleep affect others around us? Sleepiness and sleep deprivation can be accounted for roughly one million car crashes annually in The United States. (Harvard Medical School 1). It is easy to understand that sleep loss is something that affects a majority of the people living in the U.S. and sleep deprivation is something that not only affects us, but affects those around us. Scientists speculate that during the night various sleep cycles playa role on consolidating memories in the mind (Harvard Medical School 3). So knowing that sleep plays such a critical part in the growth and development of our brain, then why do we put it off in order to finish other tasks? And in doing so, what neurological

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