The Relationship Between Sleep Deprivation and Brain Health

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Emma Ibanez


Sleep deprivation is a national issue affecting teenagers and adults. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 35.2% of adults and 68.8% of teenagers get less than the recommended amount of sleep per night (2017). Ideally, teens should get around 9.5 hours of sleep, while adults should get 7-9 hours (“National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke,” 2019). Sleep deprivation is measured considering both the quality and the amount of sleep an individual obtains per night. Thus, people who wake up several times throughout the night are considered sleep deprived. The causes of sleep deprivation can be voluntary or involuntary. While some people may choose to stay awake, others may have sleep disorders that prevent them from falling asleep. In both cases of sleep deprivation, people face decreased cognitive capacity and increased risk for neurological disorders. 

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Author Biography

Emma Ibanez

Emma Ibanez is a junior majoring in MCB with a minor in chemistry. She is an undergraduate research assistant in the Rhodes lab, which studies the blood, brain, and gonads of sex-changing clownfish. Through the Brain Matters Journal, Emma wants to help other students get excited about neuroscience and its research. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school to research neuroscience or a related field.