Blog Post #3 – Research Round #1 – Is Sleep Really that Important?

“Is Sleep Really that Important?”

By: Karen Zoulau

Going 24 hours without sleep is one of the most harmful things you could do to your body. If you pull an all-nighter, you will be cognitively impaired [1]. Even going 17 hours without sleep can lead to poor judgement, poor memory and poor hand-eye coordination skills [1]. Irritability becomes more likely [1], you feel more tense [1] and emotional [1], your pain receptors are much more sensitive [1], and you start having difficulty hearing [1]. When your body notices what you are doing to it, it responds to the lack of sleep you give it, and starts producing more stress hormones and ceases glucose metabolism [1]. After you keep this up for a long time, still not sleeping enough, you brain can enter a state called “local sleep” [1]. Local sleep is where parts of your brain are shutdown and resting, while others are still active [1].  If local sleep is still not enough, your brain will start forcing micro-sleeps [1]. Micro-sleeping is very similar to zoning out [1]. Micro-sleeps occur when the brain cannot prevent sleep anymore, being forced to rest [1].

Sleeping late has a lot of negative effects too. If you sleep late often, and develop a habit of sleeping late and missing sleep occasionally, your chances of developing heart diseases increase [2], your cancer risk increases [2], your risk of diabetes increases, your diabetes management decreases [3], and you have a 3x higher chance of getting into a car accident [3]. This can confuse your natural circadian rhythm, also known as body clock, creating long naps in the afternoon, a bad habit [4]. Your eye bags can appear to be more visible [4], you have higher blood pressure [5], and you have higher risks of getting depression [5].

There are a lot of negative impacts from both going long hours without sleep and sleeping late. Consequently, these both can take a large toll in your body and impact your ability to learn in school, or your ability work in a professional environment. So go on ahead and get some extra rest, you deserve it.

Works Cited:


6 Replies to “Blog Post #3 – Research Round #1 – Is Sleep Really that Important?”

  1. Hey Karen! I really enjoyed reading your post. It seems like this topic has been growing in popularity in recent times and with good reason. While I already knew that unreliable, low quality, and low quantities of sleep can make you groggy and irritable, I had no clue that it could increase your chances of developing heart diseases, cancer, and diabetes, as well as depression. Great stuff!

    Some sources you may find useful are:

  2. Hi Karen,
    This is a very important topic. Many do not understand the importance of getting enough sleep every night. I found the concept of micro-sleeping particularly interesting. When I am very tired, I notice myself zoning out constantly. The information you provided allowed me to understand why this happens. Here are some sources for your next round of research:
    This article discusses the cognitive benefits of sleeping:
    This one discusses not only the benefits of sleep but also taking breaks:
    This discusses long term benefits of sleep:
    This discusses the link between sleeping and memory:
    I hope these articles will help you!
    – Nikki S.

  3. I found this topic so interesting, it is surprising how much we actually rely on and need sleep to live. I will be looking forward to hearing more about this topic in the future.

  4. Hi Karen,
    I liked your post on the importance of sleep to the human body. It is interesting to know just how much harm lack of sleep can cause. Perhaps the effects of insufficient sleep goes beyond the bodily effects. For instance, more questions on the importance of sleep includes and are not limited to,
    1. How does sleep affect the productibility of a community or country?
    2. Does inadequate sleep lead to economic demerits in a country? Here is a peer-reviewed article:
    3. What about those that sleep during the day and live through the night?
    4. Can sleep patterns yield better human health?
    I am looking forward to seeing what you post next!

  5. Hi Karen,
    I really enjoyed reading your first round of research! It was great learning more about what happens when sleeping late!
    Here are some sites that may help you in your second round of research:

    Looking forward to your next round of research!

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