How Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Body?

It is said that you should get at least 7-8 hours a sleep. Your body needs sleep to heal itself and restore its chemical balance. While you sleep your immune system produces protective, infection-fighting substances like cytokines. These substances can kill off bacteria and viruses. They also help you sleep, gives your immune systems more energy to fight of any illnesses. If your body doesn’t get enough sleep it can make you moody, emotional, and quick tempered. Some short term effects of sleep debt are lack of alertness, impaired memory and relationship stress.

If you don’t get enough sleep you will end up with long term problems, which can give you high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attacks, heart failure or strokes. It can even effect you appearance like dark rings under your eyes and wrinkles.

Sleep deprivation can also cause hallucinations, this is when people imagine things when there isn’t anything there. Peter Tripp is an example of how sleep deprivation can cause hallucinations and many other things.

In 1959 Peter Tripp managed 201 hours without sleep. By day 3 he stared cursing at people and hallucinating. He thought there was spiders in his shoes. Scientist were observing him throughout this experiment, they discovered that his brainwaves would appear to mirror the brainwaves which would usually appear in the 90 min REM sleep cycle, and this is when we dream. He was mostly hallucinating at these periods, it was thought that he was dreaming whilst still awake. After the experiment he slept for 13 hours, it was reported that he recovered well.

His family and friends said different, they say that he was a changed man and thought he was still suffering from the experiment. He was then divorced as well as losing his job. This shows that sleep deprivation can have many effects on your body as well as your family, friends and life.

In 1964 a high school student, Randy Gardener did another experiment that was conducted to show the effects of sleep debt. Randy lasted 11 days and 24 minutes awake, it was observed and documented by professionals. During the experiment it was seen that he experienced diminished cognitive functioning and behavioural changes. By the second day he was already experiencing a fuzzy head and had lack of focus. By the third day he was moody, rude and snapping at his friends (the same effects as Peter Tripp) as the days went on Randy begin to slur his words, he had trouble focusing and getting constantly dizzy.


The aim of this research study is to investigate if people who get less than 7-8 hours of sleep have trouble focusing during the day.


People who get less than 7-8 hours of sleep will have trouble focusing in classes.


It is a non-experimental method. The way the researcher will carry out this experiment is by a questionnaire. The researcher will get a group of pupils who are over the age of 16 both male and female to do the questionnaires. The type of questions that will be on the questionnaire will be, “How much sleep do you get a night?” “When do you wake up and go to bed?”, “Do you feel like you lack concentration when you get less that 7-8 hours of sleep?” A strength of this experiment is the researcher is able to get a wide range of answers. A weakness of this experiment is that pupils may lie just to get it ‘over and done’ with. The researcher is measuring how many hours of sleep people get.


It will be volunteers who will be taking part in the questionnaire. The volunteers will be asked these questions in school. A strength of this sampling method is that volunteers offer a variety of keen participants. A weakness of this sampling method is they can be biased in different ways.


The researcher will be measuring how many hours of sleep people are getting and seeing if people who get less than 7-8 hours of sleep and comparing them with people who get more hours of sleep than 7 hours of sleep.


As the researcher hands out the questionnaires he/she will inform them what there are doing in the experiment, it will be carefully worded to insure them they have the right to withdraw at any time. Making sure the participants are not in danger during the experiment and that they are in a safe environment. Making sure that the participant’s information is not to be handed out to anyone, by not getting them to write their names or any information about them on the sheets this makes sure their confidentiality is safe, after the study the questionnaire will be disposed of.


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