The Impact of Sleep Deprivation
Mar30

The Impact of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation has been shown to have a profoundly negative impact on job performance and day-to-day functions. Sustained sleep deprivation is also linked to health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults should get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night, but many people say they are simply too busy to get that much sleep regularly. They claim they may be sluggish, but their performance and health aren’t dramatically impacted. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. A lack of sleep, especially if it is ongoing, can have a disastrous impact on a person’s performance and health. Performance What do the nuclear accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and the Challenger explosion all have in common? Each of those tragic events occurred, in part, because the people in charge of making critical decisions were suffering from sleep deprivation. While most people will never be placed in such positions of authority, sleep deprivation causes fatigue, a decrease in the ability to focus and reason, and it leads to lower general mental performance. Those factors can all have a negative impact on job performance. In addition to job performance, a lack of sleep also impacts many aspects of everyday life. One of the most common tasks that sleep deprivation can negatively affect is driving, something that is relatable to most adults. Every year, there are approximately 1,550 deaths attributed to drowsy driving accidents, and another 71,000 people are injured. Considering that sleep deprivation impacts between 50 and 70 million Americans, it’s surprising those figures aren’t higher. Those most at risk include commercial drivers, those who work nontraditional schedules, and people who are intoxicated or have taken certain types of medications. Health A lack of sleep can also impact physical, mental and emotional health. Even a single night of sleep deprivation can cause irritability and irrational judgment. Long term sleep deprivation, however, has a negative impact on physical health. In fact, Harvard reports that studies indicate people are much more likely to have a higher body mass index (BMI) when they regularly get less than six hours of sleep. Obesity and diabetes are linked to sustained sleep deprivation, in part, because hormones that impact metabolism, appetite control, and the processing of glucose are secreted while we sleep. When we don’t get enough sleep, that process is interrupted. Even one night of too little sleep can lead to increased blood pressure for the duration of the next day in people with hypertension. It is thought that could be one of the reasons for the link between heart disease...

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The Relation between Language Delay and Chromosome Deletion
Mar16

The Relation between Language Delay and Chromosome Deletion

A person’s genetic makeup has been determined to be a factor in language delay. Specific genetic aberrations called chromosome deletions (in which genetic material is missing) have been identified in children who are suffering with autism spectrum disorders, language impairments as well as other types of developmental delays. A research team analyzed 115 children using magnetoencephalography (MEG), a machine employed to detect magnetic fields in the brain. The children listened to a set of different tones, and the MEG machine analyzed the changes in the magnetic fields within the brain, specifically measuring a known auditory delay. Children who had a specific chromosome deletion, a mutation that is found at a specific site in the genes, were found to have a significant response delay to sound, which researchers reported as being “stunningly high” when compared to the response in healthy children. The delay explains impairments in processing sound that are traced back to the genetic makeup of the child. The biological reasons behind chromosome deletion are still a mystery. The researchers are advancing their project in a small study in which children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder who have the chromosome deletion with the sound processing delay to determine whether a drug that increases the transmission of signals across nerve cells could reduce the auditory delay, and lead to an effective...

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