The effects of sleep deprivation on the cognitive abilities of perception, judgment, reasoning and memory retention.

Essay by lalfan2k6High School, 12th gradeA, March 2008

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The necessity to sleep has always been a factor of our human lives, present as a part of our daily activities. This activity of sleeping, instinctually occurs from the moment of our births, until we die, behaving as fundamental requirement of regular human functionality. Sleep, by definition, is the natural periodic suspension of voluntary bodily functions and complete or partial suspension of consciousness, during which the powers of the body are restored (Lexico Publishing Group, LLC.). The value and effect of sleep though, has not always been taken into consideration and analyzed. Only in the last century have the psychological and scientific areas of study began to investigate and explore the nature, purpose, and properties of sleep. In the course of many thorough examinations, the process of sleeping was found to be a much more complex psychological function than originally thought. Through various researches and studies, it was evident that sleep could have numerous effects on the various aspects dealing with the human body and overall human functionality.

The most alarming effects were those that resulted due to sleep deprivation, where the body lacks the necessary amount of sleep. Sleep deprivation drastically alters many of the characteristics of the human body, and activities that are performed by the body, such as the cognitive abilities of humans: planning, judgment, perception, reasoning, and memory. These changes transition the way one performs in academics and overall school performance.

First, to analyze the effects that sleep deprivation has on the cognitive and abilities of the human body, one must first possess an understanding of how sleep functions and what occurs during the state of sleep. Thus, sleep functionality is broken into five stages. Stage one and two are called the light transitional “twilight zone” sleep phases. Stage three of sleep is known as deep...