Sleep Deprivation Impact on Physical Health, Attention, and Memory


How does sleep deprivation impact on physical health, attention, and memory?

Sleep is essential to the survival of animals. Sleep deprivation has a more pronounced impact on the body than food deprivation and eventually leads to death. Sleep is scientifically proven to be the most significant time in the human body. It is directly linked to the brain activity since different activities occur; rapid eye movement (REM) and non-rapid Eye movement (NREM). Scientific evidence suggests that the cognitive functions of the brain are enhanced when one is asleep. Sleep deprivation has a direct impact on one’s physical health, attention, and memory. There is a close relationship between sleep and the normal functioning of the body. Individuals who suffer from conditions that prevent one from getting sleep, such as insomnia, are likely to experience cognitive impairment, which in most cases could lead to the development of dementia.

This research will explore the neurophysiological basis, harm, and research progress of sleep deprivation, a live phenomenon. It will focus on the impact of sleep deprivation on attention and learning and memory activities that occur.

Previous research

Sleep deprivation, whether active or passive, is an increasingly prominent problem in many countries. Andreas (2016) put forward a point in the research that complete sleep deprivation will have many adverse effects on the body, such as mistakes, cognitive decline, memory loss, decreased alertness, difficulty concentrating, and decreased optimal response-ability.  His research believes that short-term sleep restriction will not affect the body’s nerve function.  However, the degree of sleep restriction cannot be evaluated numerically.  This is consistent with the view of this research.

Shewmon, (2010) mainly explored the impact of sleep deprivation at different times on children’s development and attention and provided a basis for evaluating the effect on cognitive function. Human sleep has the basic characteristics of the circadian rhythm inherent in the biological clock itself. The mammalian “total” circadian clock is in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus. Other peripheral systems, such as the immune system, digestive system, and body temperature, also have relatively independent rhythmic regulation mechanisms. The circadian clock cells in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus have a strong autonomous rhythm. This research believes that sleep manifests as a reversible loss of consciousness. Insufficient sleep can lead to children’s inattention, decreased alertness and memory, irritability, irritability, etc., which is manifested as reduced work efficiency. This research will explore the sustained ability and decreased concentration of attention after sleep deprivation, which is related to the duration of sleep deprivation.

Trayambak and Singh (2019) studied the mechanisms of attention and consciousness. Research results show that one of the core functions of sleep is to process the new information received by the brain that day and selectively convert it into long-term preservation of data stored in the corresponding cerebral cortex functional area. It is the process of consolidating memory information. This research will try to study this mechanism through scholars’ research.

From the three types of research, there is a typical relationship that can be drawn from them. Sleep is related to the way the brain perceives and interprets information. Notably, sleep deprivation has diverse impacts on the body and sometimes may lead to extreme cases which cause deaths. Studies have shown that the brain’s cognitive function is affected by the duration of sleep since the body has its biological clock that regulates the rhythmic processes necessary for the brain’s conscious function.

Andreas (2016) conducted a study on neurofeedback therapy in aiding the brain adapt to sleep for patients with sleep deprivation conditions. The research shows that incorrect brain functioning caused by sleep may lead to the body’s effects such as loss of memory, decreased alertness, and reduced response-ability. The neurofeedback process attempts to regulate these functions so that the brain could function healthily. The research was based on the experiment aimed to determine memory and attention’s operation when awake and during sleep. The evidence used fails to provide new insight with a clarified scene. It is supported by the simple reasons that the publication’s main aim was not to resolve the problem matter’s total uncertainties. Satisfying the subject matter should be the overall goal of the work and following the objectives of providing important information on NF, clarifying the difference in approach between NF and traditional neuroscience, and allowing apparent irreconcilable systems two.

The body during sleep experiences a series of activities ranging from about 4 to 6 cycles. During the NREM stages of sleep, the brain experiences a slow action. However, there are still pulses arising from specific brain waves, which mainly occur during the third stage of sleep, commonly known as deep sleep or slow-wave sleep (Trayambak & Singh 2019). On the other hand, the brain also experiences a period of rapid eye movement. During this phase, there is a noticeable uptick in brain activity. All the activities of the brain during this period become similar to when one is awake. This period is associated mainly with active and more involving dreaming. The changes of activity during the sleeping time are known to improve mental recovery.

Deprivation of sleep overworks the neurons in the brain and thus causing it to struggle to function normally. The brain requires sleep time to recuperate and recover from excess brain activity during the day. Inadequate sleep may be caused by inconsistent sleeping patterns, which usually do not give the brain time to pass through the sleeping cycles thoroughly. Short sleep duration also affects the sleeping process and thus depriving the brain of recuperation. Effects of inadequate sleep could affect the brain’s functioning and lead to low daily activities. According to Shewmon, et al. (2010), the brain has its clock, which depends on sleep to provide the required circadian rhythm essential for recovery.

The impacts of sleep deprivation are wide-ranging from the physical effects, mental and cognitive functions. The mental effects associated with sleep deprivation often cause severe physical health conditions. Lack or insufficient sleep can cause the brain to lose both long term and short-term memory abilities. Also, lack of concentration results from poor sleep since the brain activity requires recuperation, where it regenerates for a healthy lifestyle (Whitney et al., 2017). Other effects of sleep deprivation include mood changes which eventually lead to depression and anxiety. Normal functioning of the brain requires enough sleep, usually recommended from six to eight hours a day. With enough rest, the body can cope with the daily changes of activity, and thus, the effects would be less experienced.


The evidence used for the study for qualitative evaluation outcomes was expensive to perform and time-consuming. The tests used are like double-blind method use of placebo control designs. Experimental studies are done mainly by researchers in learning institutions to be part of academic-funded research. It is due to the large amounts of money and time involved. For the researchers, they can find funding from various sources. They can also invest their time in the studies since research is their work. Piles of work follow these, but a firm conclusion is still to be found on the NF efficacy studies. The book fails to explain how to cut costs on the NF efficacy studies to enable the experiments to continue. It has been assumed that there are resources for carrying out the research and that anyone who uses it will understand how to use and interpret the method.

Among the evidence used, one of the books states that the NF efficacy approach does not fit the accepted orthodoxy about how the brain works and how to treat its problems. The book itself has created doubt in the minds of readers. Using it, therefore, means the results obtained are not so accurate. The error attraction to this is said to be because of the inability to control the activity of a single neutron. This error was realized in animals faster than realized in the human brain (Hudson, Van Dongen & Honn, 2020). Despite the remarkable results from the studies done in the late 1950s to the early 1960s on NF produced on sleep and epilepsy since the two conditions are well known. It renders the evidence unfit where accurate results are to be obtained.

According to Andreas (2016), the evidence does not do much to help answer the questions that the learner seeks answers to very well. Apart from this, the tests used are pretty hectic and complicated to perform. It is difficult for an ordinary researcher or learner to understand and calculate some of the sums involved. The evidence, therefore, is too complicated for understanding and tiresome to work out.

The evidence also misses the framework viable to explain improvements in difficult and unrelated conditions. It leaves the recent developments in neuroscience to address this missing framework. The reliable approach to curb this gap is the analysis of the resting-state of fMRI data. The process has been tested and has shown robust brain networking variations that help individuals maintain integrity in their sleep and under anesthesia.

Relatively cheap and less time-consuming methods and approaches can be applied for qualitative neuro-feedback studies and evaluation. It would enhance better results and give more room for further tests and experiments to facilitate advancement in neurology. The NF efficacy method should be made promptly, with the target being humans. The errors should also be noticed and solved with immediate effect. It should be made to fit the human orthodoxy as they target the tests being done (Becker et al., 2020). New and clarified scenes of the test need to be provided for smooth and more straightforward approaches. It is also in line with explaining the difference in systems to neuroscience hand in hand with their limitations and advantages. The tests used should also be simple and easy to understand. For anyone who might need to use the research work, an ordinary person, the tests should provide clear information that can be understood.