Opinion: Letter to the Editor: A Price of Sleep Deprivation

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: A Price of Sleep Deprivation

For me, as a college student, the relevance of Marilyn Campbell’s article (“A Good Night’s Sleep”: Connection, November 7-13, 2018) was strikingly impactful. I appreciate that you brought to light the ways sleep deprivation changes our everyday lives. It is crazy to think how something so simple can make such immense differences in our daily successes. This proves just how essential sleep is.

Tasks that are often prioritized above sleep are important, but maybe not as important as long-term health. Our achievement-focused culture likely leads to limited choices for not only students but everyone living a busy life. Our society puts so much pressure on success that when it comes to choosing between going to bed early or finishing an essay due at midnight, physical health is dismissed.

It is fascinating, and frankly disappointing, to learn that this pattern of sleep deprivation occurs in several age groups. It would be ideal for sleep deprivation to be minimized at a young age. It is also interesting that the long term effects of sleep deprivation lead to difficulty in social interactions. It saddens me to think that simply losing some sleep can cause people to completely disconnect from society. Social interactions are crucial to maintaining good mental health, and being sleep deprived compromises that.

Although the snowball effect of sleep deprivation worsening physical and mental health is not intentional in our society, it is highly problematic. It makes me wonder if there’s a way to change this social norm to improve our society’s values and people’s overall well-being. Addressing the significance of this issue, especially for students, is so important. I hope that one day, everyone will value physical health and tangible achievements equally.

Thank you for sharing this much needed information with our community.

Cayla Davis