Sleep Debt and the Mortgaged Mind

A Summary of “Sleep Debt and the Mortgaged Mind” William C. Dement and Christopher Vaughan research sleep debt and its effects on the world. Though it receives little recognition, sleep debts is involved with various accidents dealing with transportation; researchers look at the relationship between motor accidents and lack of sleep.

Researcher bring into light examples of people suffering from sleep debt and the disasters it caused. Lack of sleep is overlooked by the media though in many cases the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found it to be the main cause of traumatic events such as oil spills and car crashes. Reports hyped that the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989 was due to the captain driving under the influence of alcohol; when in actuality it was the third mates fault.

The third mate had slept very little the days before and didn’t notice that the ship was on auto causing it to crash into a reef. The Challenger, rocket, was launched prematurely causing it to blow up. The failed launch could have been avoided if only the management team had realized that they were missing crucial pieces of weather data which determined the launch altogether.

Many of the world’s most famous accidents may have been avoided if only “people [would] learn to [recognize] sleep debt and how it is affecting them” (502). Those of us who deprive our bodies of sleep will begin to think of nothing but sleep. William C. Dement carries out many tests dealing with sleep.

“People [need to] learn to pay attention to their own sleep debt and how it is affecting them” (502). Alcohol and sleep debt are just as fatal as drinking and driving. They both have the potential to take lives and affect the world around us. Though it receives little recognition, sleep debt is involved with various accidents dealing with transportation; researchers look at the relationship between motor accidents and lack of sleep.

Work Cited Dement, William C., and Christopher Vaughan. “Sleep Debt and the Mortgaged Mind.” Writing and Reading across the Curriculum. Ed. Laurence Behrens and Leonard J. Rosen. 11th ed. Boston: Longman, 2011. 497-505. Print.