Oversleeping, sleep deprivation, irregular schedules prompt severe symptoms, experts say

Chloe Ward, Reporter

     Have you ever stayed up late one night as a treat, maybe binging a show, and woken up the next day feeling dizzy, unable to concentrate, or overly critical of yourself? Sleep deprivation and oversleeping is common, especially among school age teens who want to have time for school, work, and personal pleasures.

     Getting eight to ten hours of sleep each night may seem difficult while trying to balance other activities, but if not achieved, will create an irregular sleeping pattern. A study was done with the support of the National Institute of Health where 36 people, divided into three groups were given different sleeping schedules (magazine.medlineplus.gov). 

      One slept nine hours a night, one five, and the other five but slept late on the weekend. After two weeks, it was found that the two latter groups suffered weight gain and irregular insulin levels. However, the group with irregular sleep faced even more issues, and had a lot of difficulty returning to a normal sleeping schedule again.

     With too little sleep, activities such as school are expected to get difficult. Junior Ashley Simon describes her difficulties with such. When she does not get enough sleep, she becomes “fatigued the rest of the day, or just can not concentrate.” When trying to do schoolwork, the inability to focus, especially while at home, becomes a large issue. In turn, lack of proper sleep can cause grades to go down, which, depending on the person, can cause depression or self-image issues. 

     On the topic of self-image, if there is a lack of sleep or it is inconsistent, then mental health issues can also arise. Depression mainly, but from that can come anxiety, paranoia, or suicidal thoughts (healthline.com). If someone is bipolar, it can often trigger a mania, leading to impulsive behavior. If no sleep is obtained at all within several days, there can be hallucinations, vomiting, and other severe symptoms. 

     On the other hand, oversleeping is also an issue. Spending an excessive time in bed can lead to a higher risk of health issues in relation to laziness. Often even, it can affect cognitive health as a large Spanish study concluded that it may lead to Alzheimer’s or dementia in the future (amerisleep.com). It can also affect one’s everyday life, as Simon says when she oversleeps past her regular six or seven hours, she explains that she “surprisingly feels like I need more sleep, or I wake up with a headache.” According to both everyday students and health experts, it is important to find a “sweet spot” for your body and treat your sleeping pattern with care.