It goes without saying that sleep deprivation is one of the most interesting themes in contemporary psychiatry. It is widely used for the depression treatment and the same time it was used in a number of prisons (the documents facts are known about Guantanamo) that sleep deprivation was used for tortures.
What is actually sleep deprivation and what are the reasons for it. The general meaning of sleep deprivation is – lack or complete absence of the sleeping needs. The sleep deprivation could be caused by the certain sleep disorders, conscious choice or forced by the other people. Sleep deprivation as psychological event could be used for different purpose, for example it is used in the psychiatry for the depression treatment and the same time the scientists consider that the effects of such event could be different for the people.
The investigation held in the medical center of Chicago University showed that the sleep deprivation has a strong influence on the human body to ingest glucose that could cause diabetes mellitus. So we see that using of the sleep deprivation as the treatment for the one disease it may cause certain disorders within the organism.
It goes without saying that sleep deprivation significantly influences on the function of the human’s brain. According to the data received from the investigation held in 2000 within the California University in San-Diego the scientists came to the conclusion that sleep deprivation could negatively influence on the brains function. The investigators used magnet resonance tomography for monitoring the brain’s activity of the people, doing just simple oral educative exercises. The activity of the frontal lobe was higher of those who lacked sleep – depending from the exercise the brains tried to compensate the lack of sleep. Temporal lobe of the brains which relying for the language perception and understanding was active of those people who were sleeping and it was not observed in the case of the lack of the sleep. Parietal lobe of the brains was not actually active in the case of the well slept people when they were doing the oral exercises and was higher within the people with sleep deprivation. So we see that sleep deprivation directly influences every individual’s brain and it goes without saying that the scientists proved its negative influence on the humans’ brains.
The numerous experiments on the animals showed increasing of stress hormones secreting. And it also has negative influence on the brains of the animals as it lowers the speed of brain cells regeneration. Unfortunately there are no evident data representing the possibility of such influence on the humans’ brains, but it is obvious that deprivation is not useful for the brain activity either.
Another significant question that bothered the scientists is the influence of the sleep deprivation on the healing process. The investigation held in 2005 showed that the group of rats’ ability to heal (the rats spent 5 days without sleep) did not significantly change according to the control group. It shows that lack of sleep does not significantly influence on the healing process.
Passing to the next point of the observation it would be essential to note that the abilities atrophy was also under the scientific investigation. According to the investigation process the results of which were published in the British Medical Journal in 2000 sleep deprivation is much more like the alcoholic intoxication. People who did not sleep during 17 – 19 hours provided task operation worse than those whose level of alcohol in the blood was 0,05% (that is acceptable limit in many western countries hence in the United States and Great Britain it is 0,08%). It is well known fact that lack of sleep due the long lasting shifts in medical institutions case the growth of medical faults.
The following part is sleep deprivation impact on the growth and obesity. The sleep deprivation causes oppression of somatotrophic hormone secretion. The lack of this hormone has a serious impact on the fact that superfluous calories are not converted into the muscles mass but into the adipose tissues. The lack of this hormone during the childhood causes the setback of the growth.
As it was mentioned earlier the sleep deprivation is used for curing certain times of depression, especially with the elements of apathy. The psychiatric practice this method was invented by Walter Schulte in 1966, his investigations showed that sleep deprivation betters the patients’ statement (those who have psychogenic and organic depressions).
1. Kushida, Clete Anthony. “Sleep deprivation”. Informa Health Care. 2005