The Calgary Journal
The Calgary Journal

Two reporters stay up all night attempting to write a term paper

Virtually every person has felt the effects of sleep deprivation. With eyes feeling as heavy as 300 lb. weights, you will feel constantly irritated, forgetful, and even sensitivity to cold, making a warm room feel like an ice hut.

The feeling of sleep deprivation is not one anyone wants to have on a regular basis. This video looks in-depth at the effects of sleep deprivation as two reporters stay up all night working on a term paper.

To look at the effects of sleep deprivation we first went to see Dr. Samuels, the Medical Director of the Centre for Sleep and Human Performance.

His main prediction of what we would see during the night included a severe decline in energy and brain function in the middle of the night, followed by an early morning recovery with the constant sensation of being tired.

To gauge this predicted decline of brain function, Dr. Samuels gave us a self-assessment test known as the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS). The scale ranges from 1- very alert to 9- very sleepy, great effort to stay awake or fighting sleep, where a score of 7 or more indicates excessive sleepiness.

Every hour we were instructed to do the test, circling the number that related most to the feeling of sleepiness.

With his pearls of wisdom in mind, we stocked up on energy drinks and began our very long, caffeine filled night.

In the end the KSS proved my brain function declined throughout the night, with surges of energy and brain function with help from Red Bull. However Dr. Samuels warning on the over-consumption of Red Bull also proved true, as the drink showed its menacing horns making me not only incredibly irritable, but putting my thought process on overdrive causing the quality of my work to also decline.

After a week of catching up on lost sleep, we combined the video footage and sent it back to Dr. Samuels for his reaction.

In the end Dr. Samuels said the all-nighter's effect on brain function and the reliance on energy drinks proved to be a classic example of why maintaining motivation and getting the paper done was not possible in one night.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.