Functionof sleep and how it changes over the lifespan

Functionof sleep and how it changes over the lifespan


Sleep serves several crucial functions for the body and mind. It is essential for physical restoration, memory consolidation, and overall cognitive functioning. The specific sleep patterns and needs, however, evolve over the lifespan. In infants, sleep is crucial for growth and development (Chen et al., 2022). Babies spend a significant portion of their time in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is believed to be important for brain development (Chen et al., 2022). As children grow, sleep patterns shift, and the need for deep sleep decreases (Chen et al., 2022). In adulthood, sleep continues to play a vital role in cognitive function, memory consolidation, and overall well-being (Chen et al., 2022). The proportion of deep sleep decreases with age, and older adults may experience changes in sleep architecture (Chen et al., 2022).


Consequences of sleep disturbances related to emotion regulation, studying, and other important areas of functioning


Sleep disturbances can have profound consequences on various aspects of life. Emotion regulation is particularly affected, with sleep deprivation linked to increased irritability, mood swings, and difficulty managing stress (Medic et al., 2017). In terms of studying, lack of sleep can impair concentration, memory, and overall cognitive performance (Medic et al., 2017). Chronic sleep disturbances are associated with an increased risk of mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression (Medic et al., 2017). Additionally, inadequate sleep has been linked to compromised immune function, cardiovascular issues, and metabolic disorders (Medic et al., 2017).


Summary of a popular media example of inadequate sleep


In the TV series “Friends,” there is an episode titled “The One Without the Ski Trip” where the characters experience the consequences of sleep deprivation. The storyline revolves around the friends’ lack of sleep due to various reasons, leading to comical situations, heightened emotional reactions, and impaired decision-making.


Personal reflection on sleep habits


Personally, I recognize the importance of maintaining healthy sleep habits. Reflecting on my own life, I believe that improving my sleep habits could positively impact my overall well-being. I often find myself sacrificing sleep to meet deadlines or engage in late-night activities. To address this, I would implement specific changes, such as setting a consistent sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and minimizing screen time before bed. Additionally, I would prioritize the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night to enhance my cognitive functioning, emotional regulation, and overall health. Implementing these changes may require discipline and a commitment to prioritizing sleep, but the potential benefits to my physical and mental health would be well worth the effort.


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Chen, H. L., Gao, J. X., Chen, Y. N., Xie, J. F., Xie, Y. P., Spruyt, K., Lin, J. S., Shao, Y. F., & Hou, Y. P. (2022). Rapid Eye Movement Sleep during Early Life: A Comprehensive Narrative Review. International journal of environmental research and public health, 19(20), 13101.


Medic, G., Wille, M., & Hemels, M. E. (2017). Short- and long-term health consequences of sleep disruption. Nature and science of sleep, 9, 151–161.

Functionof sleep and how it changes over the lifespan

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