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Negative Impact Of Sleep Deprivation: The Rising Epidemic

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Sleep Deprivation is contributing to weaker bones

Bone development is important during the teenage years to help individuals grow into healthy adults. Teenagers use their bones everyday, from walking to class to playing sports. It has been found that sleep deprivation is harming the strength of the bones in the bodies sleep deprived teens. Bone are strongly impacted due to lack of sleep, including effects in marrow flexibility, inefficient microdamage repair, and the beginning of osteoporosis. When bones start to become thin, lose mass, and become less dense, it’s osteoporosis. Bones that are affected by osteoporosis have spaces where bone mass should be and have tissue structures that aren’t normal. It’s easier for bones to break when the person has osteoporosis. From falling to even sneezing, a person with osteoporosis are at a higher risk for damaging bones. Not receiving the proper amount of sleep as an adolescent could increase the risk of getting osteoporosis at an early age. Sleep deprivation also prevents the skeletal system from getting the proper 8 to 10 hours of rest by reducing the amount of time the body is laying down and relieving the pressure that was placed upon the bones throughout the day. Sleep is important for the growth of bones, since puberty hormones are promoting fast bone development and the peak bone mass occurs by the late teenage years. Sleep-deprived teens can also be a risk of receiving more injuries than teens that get the proper amount of sleep. When a person is sleep deprived, they are less focused on the activities they are doing. For example, if a teen that hasn’t had the proper amount of sleep is cooking, they are more likely to accidentally injure themselves while cutting up food or handling hot substances. In every situation, it’s important for teenagers to get the correct amount of sleep to protect and promote strong bones.

Lack of sleep causes infirm muscles

Muscles are actively being utilized throughout the day of a teenager. Those that exercise and participate in physical activities more than others use their muscles more than those that don’t, but both groups of teenagers still need the full amount of rest required to be successful throughout the day. When muscles are in use, they continuously contract and pull bones through flexors and extensors. This happens over an extensive period of time for some teenagers without a break. Sleep is the time where muscles are able to relax and the stress that was put on them the entire day is finally relieved. During sleep, muscles are being repaired from the tension and tightness that it went through during the day and are preparing themselves for the stress they’re going to face the next day. Rest is especially essential for when teens injure their muscles in sports or exercise, like a muscle sprain or strain. Without the correct amount of sleep, muscles aren’t able to fully recover or the recovery time would be greatly reduced. Muscle growth can also be diminished without the right amount of sleep since the damages made to the chains of proteins are not being repaired well. These protein chains have to be restored in order for the muscle to continue to grow and function properly. This is important for growing teenagers since they are preparing their bodies for adulthood. Sleep allows the muscles in the body to continue to develop and prepare for the activities teenagers do throughout the day.

Sleep is essential for brain maturity

Quick and critical thinking are important components of learning that teenagers should be proficient at. These are used throughout the school day in classes like English and mathematics and are usually combined with analytical methods of thinking. Being able to utilize your brain in these different ways aren’t just for teenagers to be successful in school, but to be successful in their future careers as well. One of the biggest factors that reduces the ability for teenagers to think fast, critically, and analytically is sleep deprivation. Without sleep, focusing on topics during school become harder and memorization becomes a struggle. This could lead to a drop in grades and concentration on schoolwork. Teenagers are more likely to have shorter attention spans and make poor decisions when they are sleep deprived. Through various studies, it has been found that teenagers that are sleep deprived may experience mood disorders, like depression, anxiety, and frustration. In a large group of high school students, there an was increase in both feeling sad and suicide attempts with each hour of lost sleep. Those that felt excessively tired in the day had a higher risk of being depressed. Sleep deprivation is affecting the mental health of teenagers and this in turn is affecting the decisions they make. Sleep deprived teens are at a higher risk of substance use and interfere with brain functions that control emotions and rewards. Alcohol consumption and drunk driving are more likely to be done by teens that lack sleep. This could damage their nervous system and the developing brain cells there. The brain will not fully develop if teens take part in activities that include alcohol and drugs. With proper sleep, these problems could be avoided.

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Your heart needs a break

The heart beats multiple times a day everyday. Blood is pumped into and out of the heart at powerful forces continuously throughout the day and the heart is always working hard, and in some cases its hardest, to make sure there is blood being transported to the entire body. Sleep is the only time of the day where the heart can relax and its beat becomes regular. Without this period of sleep, the heart is overworking itself without a break or time to recover from the busy day it’s been through. This is important in teenagers that are constantly physically active or faced with stress that increases their heartbeat. Sleep deprived teens are placed at risk for having cardiovascular disease in their life. Cardiovascular disease ranges from coronary artery disease, which is the buildup of fat and cholesterol in the arteries, to arrhythmia, which is the heart beating at an irregular pace. Other diseases include high blood pressure and cardiac arrest. High blood pressure occurs when there is a great amount of force against the arteries when pumping blood. This could affect sleep deprived teenagers early in their lives because of their heart overworking to keep up with their activities and stress of daily life. Since their isn’t proper rest for the heart, it’s forced to pump blood at a great force than normal to support the rest of the body. Cardiac arrest happens when the heart suddenly stops functioning. This could occur after the heart has been put under intense pressure to keep working without rest. All of the irregularities of the heart fall under the category of cardiovascular disease and describe the heart as functioning improperly, whether it is working harder than normal to transport blood or not able to work as it normally does. It’s crucial that teenagers get proper rest to avoid these diseases.

Sleep is important for the kidneys, too

The urinary system follows closely along with the body’s circadian rhythm to make sure that there’s more urine frequency in the day and less at night to ensure the body experiences the least amount interruptions during sleep. The circadian rhythm controls the cycle of sleep-wake every 24 hours. This isn’t the case for sleep deprived teenagers. Teenagers that are sleep deprived will experience more urine during the night since their circadian rhythm is altered. Since the circadian rhythm undergoes changes in teenagers that lack proper rest, the kidneys undergo changes as well. They function and secrete urine in alignment with the cycle of sleep and this could be harmful for teens that sleep at irregular times and for abnormal periods of time. Kidney disease could result from sleep deprivation in teenagers and could result in inefficient removal of toxins and wastes from the blood. This waste could buildup in the kidneys and prevent it from functioning properly. With poor kidney health, sleep deprivation could be intensified in teenagers. Because the kidneys aren’t functioning properly, it’s harder for teenagers to get the right amount of sleep and are awake more often to treat their kidneys. With less sleep, the function of the kidneys decline faster and affect other body systems as well. Sleep deprivation has proven to be a cause and outcome to improper kidney function. Teens could be able to avoid this by getting the correct amount of sleep so that their circadian rhythm can be stable, along with their kidneys.

Sleep deprivation is linked to teen breathing issues

Sleep deprivation can be the result of other sleep disorders that may affect the way teenagers breathe while they sleep. For example, some teenagers may experience sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when breathing stops briefly during sleep because the airway is obstructed. Teenagers that have this sleep disorder may have trouble breathing, snore, and excessive sweating. This leads to an uncomfortable rest and causes teens to be sleep deprived and irritable throughout the day. Sleep apnea directly affects the respiratory system and prevents oxygen from entering the body and carbon dioxide from exiting the body. This could be potentially dangerous, especially in teenagers affected by obesity and uncontrolled weight. The pressure from the body fat in teens is placed on the airways, making it harder to breathe. This becomes prevalent during sleep and leads to sleep disorders, like sleep apnea. This stress on the airways of the body is unhealthy and leads to more health issues that could be linked to sleep deprivation. In order to have healthy lungs as a teenager, proper rest is needed. The body undergoes different breathing patterns throughout the day of busy teenagers and to establish healthy lungs, teenagers need to get the correct resting time to have stable and relaxed breathing. Breathing may become irregular without giving the lungs rest, especially after intense physical activity that teenagers do everyday. Getting the proper rest to restore the lungs will prevent future respiratory health issues, like the common cold and influenza, in the lives of teenagers.

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Negative Impact Of Sleep Deprivation: The Rising Epidemic. (2022, March 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 28, 2023, from
“Negative Impact Of Sleep Deprivation: The Rising Epidemic.” Edubirdie, 17 Mar. 2022,
Negative Impact Of Sleep Deprivation: The Rising Epidemic. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 28 Sept. 2023].
Negative Impact Of Sleep Deprivation: The Rising Epidemic [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Mar 17 [cited 2023 Sept 28]. Available from:
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