Friday, September 7, 2007

AHHH...Sweet Sleep

Your eyelids droop and your head starts to nod. Yawning becomes almost constant and your vision seems blurry. You blink hard, focus your eyes and suddenly realize that you’ve veered onto the shoulder or into oncoming traffic for a moment and quickly straighten the wheel. This time you were lucky; next time you could become the latest victim of the tragedy of drowsy driving.

According to the National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep in America poll, 60% of Americans have driven while feeling sleepy and 37% admit to actually having fallen asleep at the wheel in the past year. According to the NSF's 2005 Sleep in America poll, only half of adults can say they get a good night's sleep a few nights/week or more. Be aware that the person in the next car may be driving drowsy even if you are not.

Studies show that lack of sleep leads to problems completing a task, concentrating, making decisions and unsafe actions, none of which is conducive to being a successful college student! Though scientists are still learning about the concept of basal sleep need, one thing sleep research certainly has shown is that sleeping too little can not only inhibit your productivity and ability to remember and consolidate information (think: tests), but lack of sleep can also lead to serious health consequences and jeopardize your safety and the safety of individuals around you.
For example, short sleep duration is linked with:
* Increased risk of motor vehicle accidents
* Increase in body mass index – a greater likelihood of obesity due to an increased appetite
caused by sleep deprivation
* Increased risk of diabetes and heart problems
* Increased risk for psychiatric conditions including depression and substance abuse
* Decreased ability to pay attention, react to signals or remember new information

How much sleep do you need? Adults need 7-9 hours sleep each night and teens need even more. Studies show that young people use their computers or televisions to wind down, but this simply contributes to sleep deprivation; 'Winding down' is not SLEEP.

This was taken from the National Sleep Foundation’s website. Visit for more information, and leave the party early tonight, and get some sleep! Don’t be the next victim of sleep deprivation.

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