is essential for human being. It is as important as food and water for human
being in order to survive. It can be divided into two major type which are
rapid eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (non-REM). REM is when we
sleep while dreaming of something while non-REM is split into three stages.
First stage is where a person is lightly doze, and the sleep is not very
restorative. Second stage is a middle sleep where the sleep is much more
restorative than in the first stage. Lastly, the third stage is a slow-wave
deep sleep and it is the most restorative sleep of all. Decline in deep-wave
sleep is easily observed through teen years to early 20s.
research and finding state that most adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep
to be able to carry out any cognition process. According to National Institutes
of Health, average adult sleeps less than 7 hours per night which is not the
recommended hours of sleep for adult. Although many said that they can still
perform and operate well during the day even with just 6 or 7 hours of sleep,
it doesn’t mean that your body is at its best state.
that, even though you are sleeping, your brain is busy with so many things that
need to be done before you wake up. In order to keep your body at the best
state and in top condition, biological maintenance is done. For example,
removal of toxic in your body that accumulate while you are awake. The body
also need to prepare for day ahead. Other than that, hormone and neurotransmitter
also play important roles in keeping the body in sleeping mode so that it won’t
disturb the sleep-wake cycle or circadian rhythm.
but not least, other than getting an enough hour of sleep, you also need a
quality of sleep. This is because, without it your mental and physical health
will be affected. You won’t be able to work, learn, create and also communicate
at you best potential. Lack of quality
of sleep also will affect your quality of waking life, productivity and
on the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), sleep is crucial for one’s health and
welfare. Sleep is the mind’s best friend. Despite the fact, a lot of people do
not get enough sleep. The NSF suggests that in order to get a proper night’s
rest, we need to sleep between 7 to 9 hours every night (Holmes, 2016).
of Good Sleep
a good sleep means that we can fully rest without being interrupted by
anything. It will also help our muscle to relax and ensure a smooth blood
circulation. If we are having a good sleep, we will undergo five stages of
sleep a few times. We will spend at least two hours of dreaming that indicates
that our brains are trying to make sense of random thoughts and brain signals.
Besides, the process of producing and storing proteins by our body cell will be
smooth if we get a good sleep.
are five stages of sleep. At stage 1 (10%), most of us will be awakened easily
from sleep at this stage. We will experience the sensation of falling due to a
little bit of muscle contractions. At stage 2 (45-50%), our brain waves
starting to slow down, body temperature decreases and both breathing, and heart
rate remain constant. At stage 3 and stage 4 (20%), we will be in da deep
sleep. Our brain waves will change from the waking alpha and beta waves to
slower theta and delta waves. It can be said impossible to wake us up when we
already enter this stage. During this stage, our blood pressure drops, and our
breathing slows down. At stage 5 which is rapid eye movement (REM) or known as
paradoxical sleep (20-25%), there will be an increase in heart rate and blood
pressure. We will also lose the ability to regulate our body temperature. The
exciting moment of this stage is dreaming. During this stage of sleep, the
sleeper’s eyes move rapidly back and forth under the closed lids (Kalat, 2011).
Brain Chemical Involved in Sleep
are some brain chemicals involved in sleep. First, serotonin. Serotonin
oversees appetite, emotion, sleep and mood. Consuming antidepressants will
affect its amount in the brain. He or she will be drowsier than usual. Next,
norepinephrine. Stress response, blood pressure, heart rate, metabolism and
breathing are influenced by norepinephrine. Antidepressants will alter its
level in the brain. Other than that, adenosine. When a person is awake,
adenosine is built up in the blood. The effect to that person is drowsiness.
Heart and circulatory system are also affected due to this chemical. Adenosine
is formed when the larger compound, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) breaks down
and releases energy. The action of adenosine can be stopped temporarily by
taking caffeine. Consuming caffeine can be said a habit among students in order
for them to stay awake and burning the midnight oil.
There are two types of sleep
generated by the brain which are slow-wave sleep (SWS) or deep sleep and rapid
eye movement (REM) or dreaming sleep. The characteristics of SWS are slow brain
waves, relaxed muscles and slow, deep breathing. This type of sleep will give
time for both our brain and body to revive.
Events in The Brain During Sleep
are a few of events that put our brain to sleep. In other words, we do not
‘just’ sleep. Sleep is initiated at the brain areas that produce SWS.
Scientists have found two groups of cells that are responsible in causing SWS.
Those are the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus in the hypothalamus and the
parafacial zone in the brain stem. Once they are switched on, we will lose our
consciousness straight away.
SWS have done its job, REM sleep will then take place. This type of sleep is
very odd and strange. Some of its characteristics are highly-active brain,
paralyzed body muscles and inconsistent breathing and heart rate. Besides, the
eyes move rapidly back and forth under the closed lids. Unlike SWS, REM sleep
is being controlled by a small group of cells in the brain stem known as sub
coeruleus nucleus. A person will be unable to undergo the muscle paralysis if
these cells are damaged. This problem can cause REM behaviour disorder. It is a
very severe condition since the person will violently act out his dreams
(Peever & Murray). That person fails to inhibit their muscular activity
during REM. Sometimes, that person will walk around flailing their arms (Kalat,
Brain Mechanism of Circadian Rhythm
rhythms have their own brain mechanisms. Circadian rhythm is a rhythm of
activity and inactivity lasting about a day. A tiny structure at the base of
the brain known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus generate the circadian rhythm of
sleep and wakefulness. The body’s activity cycles become erratic if that part
is damaged. That part is the body’s main clock. Its role is to regulate the
pineal gland’s secretions of the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is essential for
circadian rhythms. Commonly, melatonin is being released by the human pineal
gland 2 or 3 hours before bedtime (Kalat, 2011).The National Sleep Foundation (NSF), alongside a multi-disciplinary master board, issued its new suggestions for suitable rest spans. The report recommends more extensive proper rest ranges for most age groups. The National Sleep Foundation gathered specialists from sleep, anatomy and physiology, paediatrics, neurology, gerontology and gynaecology to achieve a general agreement from the broadest scope of scientific disciplines. For newborns (0-3 months old), the sleep range is narrowed to 14-17 hours each day. For infants (4-11 months old), sleep range is widened to 12-15 hours. For toddlers (1-2 years old), sleep range is widened by one hour to 11-14 hours compared to the old one. For pre-schoolers (3-5 years old), sleep range is widened to 10-13 hours. For school age children (6-13 years old), sleep range is widened to 9-11 hours. Meanwhile, sleep range for teenagers (14-17 years old) is widened to 8-10 hours per day. Younger adults (18-25 years old) are recommended to sleep around 7-9 hours per day. Sleep range for adults (26-64 years old) is 7-9 hours. Lastly, older adults (65 years old & above) are recommended to sleep around 7-8 hours every day. Importance of SleepingEveryone should sleep enough and properly because it is so important and gives us all the benefits naturally to all humans. There are some importance of sleep. Firstly, sleep is a prime time for learning and memory. When we sleep, our brain is the busiest part of the body. Carl W. Bazil MD, PhD, the Caitlin Tynan Doyle Professor of Neurology at Columbia University Medical Center said that our brain’s trillions of nerves cells are rewiring themselves during when we sleep. This crucial process takes part during deep, slow-wave sleep. It enables us to process and keep new information that we have learned when we are awake along the day. Bazil explains, “Your brain is making a map of the information and making new connections and also breaking other ones.” When we learn something, our memory improves if we go to sleep within the next 3 hours (even a nap) and it deteriorates after a sleepless night. Besides, a good night’s sleep also improves learning the next day. Wakefulness and sleep play complementary roles in learning (Kalat, 2011). What we can conclude here is that the habits of most students to stay up late is obviously not healthy and not helpful at all. Skipping sleep to prepare for tomorrow’s exam and presentation is not that helpful for the students’ performance. Burning the midnight oil for the sake of learning something new by sacrificing a few hours of sleep will not help that much to succeed academically. This is because our brain is not going to retain that information as better as it will be if we get a full night of good sleep. We must realize our brain is not a robot or even machine. It needs time to process those lengthy information and that time is when we are asleep. Secondly, sleep helps keeping our attention and focus sharp. Sleep is very essential to keep our attention and focus sharp. For example, students will experience that ‘blurred’ or ‘unclear’ feeling when trying to focus in a lecture if they did not get enough sleep at night. They will also have difficulty to solve those complex tasks. By getting enough sleep, students will be more focused in the lecture and the probability for them to be left behind in the class is almost zero. They are also able to solve those complex tasks (DiGiulio, 2017). In short, students should realize and know that sleeping is not a waste of time. It is better to sleep in your room rather than sleeping in the lecture hall. Think wisely. Choose wisely.One of benefits is sleep works to improve the body system. As we sleep, the entire system in our body is actively working to restore all our body system which is poor due to our daily activities. Therefore, people who sleep enough are not at high risk for infected harmful diseases such as heart disease and kidney disease because good sleep have improved and healed the system in their bodies. Sleep also importance to reduce stress because sleep also can increase serotonin hormone production in the body which works to stabilize all systems in our body. Without hormones, the system in our bodies will become irregular and chaotic which is can affect mood and social behaviour, appetite and digestion.In other side, our brain works during we sleep to rearrange and rewiring all the information we get during the day. Sleep is the prime time for learning and memory. Therefore, it is good for us to study and continue to sleep right away. This is because the last information that goes into the brain before going to bed will be the information we really care about. Because sleep itself process of remembering and learning.Finally, sleep function to helps keep our attention and focus sharply because our brain is very fresh after getting out of bed due to the process of forgetting during sleep which is it works to remove any unnecessary information in the human brain.Effect of Sleep DeprivationSleeping is important to all individuals. According to research by Brown University, no less than 11 percent of college students report good rest. However, 73 percent of scholar were found to have sleep problems. Sleep problems aren’t only limited to sleep deprivation for scholars. At least 30 percent of college women and 18 percent of college men said that they experienced insomnia. Lack of sleep impedes individuals’ ability to work normally for the duration of the day. This causes students, specifically, to focus less during classes. That is the reason scholars with lack of sleep were found to have lower GPAs, since it debilitates their ability to focus, get information and learn. Another overview found that 68 percent of students slept as much as 7 hours every night on weekdays, while 20 percent slept 5 hours or less amid weekdays. It showed that different kind of scholars have different necessity for sleep. While some people required longer rest hours, others fare well with the average time for rest. A bigger survey found a more exact investigate how students control sleep. The survey that conducted by American College Health Association in 2010 assembled as much as 95,712 responses from 139 different schools. It found that most students generally feel ‘well rested half of the time,’ and that they feel sleepy most of the time. On an intriguing note, another review found that numerous scholars ‘crash’ on the end of the week, resting over 8 hours. 72 percent of students were found to sleep 8 to 9 hours, while 28 percent sleep more than 10 hours on weekends. Individuals suffering from sleeping disorder will have negative effects mentally and physically. For instance, decrease in alertness, uncontrollable emotions, hard to memorize new things, risk of getting dementia and many more.The first consequence of sleeping disorder or deprivation is it will decrease our brain activity and performance. Primarily, in thalamus which affect our attention and alertness. Resulting to the declining of our alertness and cognitive performance in association with these brain deactivations.Next, sleep deprivation will lead to uncontrollable emotions and affect our moods. In 1959, a popular New York DJ known as Peter Tripp pledged to stay awake for 200 hours for charity while continue on hosting his radio show. His pledged resulting to personality change which he was well known as a cheerful person but ended up being a highly irritable person and keep cursing his closest friend. Also, he began to hallucinate and showed paranoid behaviour. Sadly, after he went bed after 201 hours awake, his marriage broke down and he lost his career in radio stations. Modern laboratory replicated some of Tripp’s behaviour as consequences of sleep loss. To conclude, sleep deprivation leads in increasing irritability, worsening mood, feelings of depression, anger and anxiety (Tamminen, 2016).Sleep deprived participants in one study experienced greater stress and anger than rested control participants when asked to complete a simple cognitive test. By using brain imaging methods, the reasons why sleep deprivation lead to emotional response is because level activity in amygdala which is our emotional control centre showed 60% higher in sleep deprived participants compare to those who rested when they were shown emotionally negative images. Then, the researchers also found out that sleep deprivation distracted the connection between amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex which was a critical insight as the medial prefrontal cortex regulates amygdala function. Thus, it can cause the amygdala to overreact to negative stimuli because it disconnected from brain areas that normally moderate its response (Tamminen, 2016).Another area of brain affected is hippocampus. This region is important in storing new memories. Even just for one night, the abilities to memorize new information for people with sleep deprivation drops significantly. Evidently in one study, sleep deprived participants showed less activation in hippocampus when they were asked to memorize a set of pictures. It could be caused by sleep deprivation which reduce the ability of hippocampus to write in new information. Lack of sleep may cause the storage capacity of hippocampus to fill up and preventing new information to be stored. Alternatively, the hippocampus may need to sleep to move new information in other areas of the brain. Apart from that, chronic sleep deprivation may lead to depression, weight gain, increased risk of diabetes and cancer and also risk of accidents.A lack of sleep may also increase your risk for dementia. Researchers from University of California Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab discovered that a lack of sleep leaves your brain more vulnerable to proteins believed to trigger dementia. (Mercola,2016). This study discovered beta-amyloid, a protein associated with those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, aggregates in your brain when you are chronically sleep deprived. These deposits hinder your ability to sleep and thus set up a vicious cycle. Amyloid plaques, common in Alzheimer’s disease also build up more quickly in one research in sleep deprived lab animals. Another study then discovered how sleep can clear toxins from your brain while sleeping thus reducing risk for dementia.Last but not least, an assistant superintendent of school district in Temecula, California started to get complaint from parents and students on how hard the students have to get ready for school which started at 7:30 a.m. Among adolescents who got around nine hours of sleep which is recommended usually lead to higher test scores and better behaviour. School in the U.S mostly begin at or before 8:30 a.m. which can lead to sleep deprivation. It will eventually affect the students’ concentration in class and increase the risk of obesity and depression. When some particular school started to delay the school start times, both parents and teachers can see the changes in their children and students which the child become more alert and they did not look tired (Sifferlin, 2016).In a nutshell, sleep is necessary to feel alert, be productive and creative, for optimal body functioning and to reduce risk of getting dementia and obesity. Many people sacrifice their sleep time to do work or study for the test. Little did they know that sleeping is important to keep up the good work and good scores since it will affect us mentally and physically. Thus, we should rediscover the importance and consequences sleep may bring.Ways to Improve Sleeping HabitsSleeping is crucial to every human being. Lack of sleeps can lead to bad consequences that will affect your body and brain. Human body has a natural time-keeping clock or is called as circadian rhythm. To keep this circadian rhythm functioning, we need to keep in sync with it. Regulate your sleep-wake schedule can make your body used to it. When this happen, your body will wake up feeling more refreshed and energized compare to when you sleep the same number of hours without a fixed sleep-wake schedule. Therefore, you can live your daily life effectively.Besides that, you need to control your exposure to light. In human body, there is this hormone named melatonin which is controlled by the amounts of light that you are exposed to. At dark, your brain will secrete more melatonin which will make you feel sleepy and secretes it less during the day which will make you more alert to the surrounding. Try to expose yourself more to sunlight during the day and avoid bright light at night. The result is, it can regulate your sleep-wake cycle and also the circadian rhythm.Next, way to improve sleeping habit is to avoid watching television or using any electronic devices such as smart phone, tablet or computer at least an hour or so before going to bed. This is because, electronic devices emit blue light which will confused your body system saying that it is still daytime. When this happens, the blue light will lessen the secretion of melatonin that is in charge in making you feel sleepy. Last but not least, provide a relaxing routine right before going to sleep. The period between your wake time and the time right before you sleep try to fill it with relaxing activities. For example, read a book, take bath or listen to soft music. Avoid activities that will make feel stress and not at ease. This is because, stressful activities will stimulate your brain to secrete a stress hormone called cortisol which will increase your alertness to the surrounding. In conclusion, make yourself comfortable and relax before going to bed.How Sleep Improve Human PotentialsOne needs to have enough time of rest and sleep in order to perform well in their daily lives. This is because sleeping will energize and refresh the body for days ahead. For an instance, workers at fast food restaurant such as McDonald’s need enough rest and sleep to give the best services to customers. They need to make sure that their body is in sync with the circadian rhythm which in charge of the sleep-wake cycle of the body. Therefore, at work they would not feel sleepy and get to perform their best. Besides that, by providing a relaxing routine right before going to sleep also can help the worker at McDonald’s restaurant to excel at their jobs. Stressful activities or works that happened during work time need to be forgotten and left behind to avoid increase in secretion of cortisol which is the stress hormone.Application of Sleep Towards Development of Cognitive Science PracticesThere are still a lot to be discovered about sleep but the knowledge that we have now can be applied in the practices of cognitive science in Malaysia. First of all, sleep clinic can be established in Malaysia. Sleep clinic is not so well-known in Malaysia, but it is commonly seen in other countries like India and Australia. It is difficult to diagnose sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and insomnia if the patients are awake. That is the reason why doctors use sleep clinics to monitor patients overnight. The patients will be put in medical lab. The medical lab is equipped with a bed and a few equipment. Those equipment will enable the doctor to detect sleep problems. Doctors will monitor brain activity, heart rate, snoring, eye movement, body movements and many more. The establishment of sleep clinic might sound funny or ridiculous at first but the fact that it is important cannot be denied. By taking care of the amount of sleep we get, we can change a lot of things regarding our working memory. Quality of one’s work can also be improved by taking care of sleep since sleep is closely related to the production of a few hormone that controls our emotion and stress level. Secondly, government can play an important role by making a short nap or siesta as an obligation at school and workplace. They should realize that it is not about quantity of work done but it is about the quality of work done. This is because taking a nap can improve memory and thus improve performance. A short nap is highly recommended for short-term alertness. It normally takes 20 to 30 minutes. Other than improving alertness, it can also improve performance. By implementing this rule, academic performance and performance at workplace will most probably improved.CONCLUSIONIn conclusion, we cannot deny the fact that sleep is very essential in our life especially as a student. It is already proven scientifically by a lot of research done by the scientists and researchers. The fact is not just proven in the modern days scientifically, but it is also mentioned in a few well-known quotations; A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything (Irish Proverb) and the bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep (E. J. Cossman).The amount of sleep we get will determine the quality of our life and our every day’s performance as a student. By getting adequate amount of sleep the night before, we can settle a lot of things much easier the next day. We can also make decisions wisely. That is why we are asked to ‘sleep on it’ when we need to decide something.Sleeping is not a waste of time if we get the appropriate amount of it. Our brain also needs to rest. Even robot needs to get rest by recharging, so does human being. Lack of sleep will cause negative effect in many aspects such as health, psychology, emotion and physiology.