TED Talk: The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on your Mental Health

June 16, 2016

Here is my TED talk, where I talk about the effects of sleep deprivation on your mental health.

My Script:

Find my script here.

My Slide Show:

Find my slide show here.


2006 Teens and Sleep. (n.d.). Retrieved June 17, 2016, from https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-polls-data/sleep-in-america-poll/2006-teens-and-sleep
Anwar, Y. (2007, October 22). 10.22.2007 – Sleep loss linked to psychiatric disorders. Retrieved June 17, 2016, from http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2007/10/22_sleeploss.shtml
Foster, R. (2015, November 17). How sleep and mental health are linked in the brain. Retrieved June 16, 2016, from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/11/how-sleep-and-mental-health-are-linked-in-the-brain/
Sleep and mental health – Harvard Health. (2009, July). Retrieved June 17, 2016, from http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Sleep-and-mental-health
Mukherjee, P. (2016, July). Disconnection Between Amygdala and Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Psychotic Disorders. Retrieved June 17, 2016, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26908926
Definition of sleep in English:. (n.d.). Retrieved June 17, 2016, from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/sleep
Go Back to Sleep Before Back-to-School. (2015, August 24). Retrieved June 17, 2016, from http://www.sleepsomatics.com/sleepsomatics-journal-blog-about-sleep/go-back-to-sleep-before-back-to-school/2015/8/24
Richter, R. (2015, October 8). Among teens, sleep deprivation an epidemic. Retrieved June 17, 2016, from https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2015/10/among-teens-sleep-deprivation-an-epidemic.html
Swaminathan, N. (2007, October 23). Can a Lack of Sleep Cause Psychiatric Disorders? Retrieved June 17, 2016, from http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-a-lack-of-sleep-cause/
THE BRAIN FROM TOP TO BOTTOM. (n.d.). Retrieved June 17, 2016, from http://thebrain.mcgill.ca/flash/i/i_04/i_04_cr/i_04_cr_peu/i_04_cr_peu.html


Ted Talk [Digital image]. (n.d.). Retrieved June 17, 2016, from http://papyrus.greenville.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/1267341_626716080712957_1644919320_o.png

All other image sources were provided directly in the presentation, underneath the matching images. 

16 thoughts on “TED Talk: The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on your Mental Health”

  1. Hi Sydney, your presentation was so well spoken and I thought that you were very through in explaining what the different parts of the brain do. One question I have for you is: What else can sleep deprivation lead to besides struggles with mental health? I think that your topic is very interesting and the information you talked about today may be especially helpful to those of us in the Talons program!

    1. Thanks for your comment and the awesome question Renee! I believe that it is so important for people, especially for people in the TALONS program to understand the effects of sleep deprivation. To answer your question fully, like I mentioned briefly in my talk, sleep deprivation can also lead to severe problems with your physical health. Some examples of physical health issues that can be caused by sleep deprivation are impaired immune system, risk of heart disease and risk of diabetes type 2. Another really dangerous thing that is caused by sleep deprivation is called microsleep, which I learned about from Kendra’s TED talk. If you would like to learn more about the effects of sleep deprivation, I strongly advise you to watch her TED talk!

  2. Love the video. Thank you for sharing this information with us. I get it is important for all the Talons to know. For myself, now I know that sleep deprivation can cause overdrive. Overdrive makes amygdala lose connection with medial prefrontal cortex which can make us emotionally unstable. On the days that I don’t get enough sleep, I get grumpy. I always thought that I was having a bad day. I have never thought that it was the consequence of lack of sleep.
    Great Job on your video.

    1. Thanks for the comment Francisco! I agree that it is extremely important for TALONS students, and students in general, to know about the effects of sleep deprivation. I hope that now that you know about the consequences of lack of sleep, you are able to change your sleep patterns to ensure that you are able to function to the best of your ability!

  3. Amazing research and presentation Sydney!
    I love your introduction and your conclusion! You are so well spoken and very clear and focused on your topic. I liked how you made it relatable and understandable by sharing personal stories and using pictures. Your topic is very well researched and thought out. I also thought that your summary was very effective and tied up your TED Talk very well.
    If you were to go deeper into the the topic of sleep deprivation and mental illness, what would you research next? Also, how do you think your new knowledge of sleep deprivation will change your sleeping patterns?
    I really loved your TED Talk! It was interactive, informative, personal, and really made me think about my sleeping patterns. Awesome job at making eye contact as well!

    1. Thank you for the comment Vanessa! To answer your first question, if I were to do more research on the topic of sleep deprivation and mental health, I would definitely look into the links between loss of sleep and hallucinations, because after watching Renee’s TED talk, I have become very curious about hallucinations, and would like to get to know more about them. In addition to this, although this isn’t directly related with mental health issues, I would like to do more research on the effects of using technology, such as your phones and computers, before going to sleep. As for your second question, I do believe that my new knowledge of sleep deprivation will help me change my sleeping pattern immensely. With summer break just around the corner, I hope to make sure that all throughout the summer, I am able to get at least 9 hours of sleep, since that is the amount of sleep that is recommended for teenagers my age. Also, I hope to go to sleep earlier in the night, and use less technology before I go to bed.

      1. OOOHHH All those topics sounds so cool and interesting! Hahahah me too! It is hard to break out of bad sleeping habits/patterns but if one is informed enough, this new knowledge can help one achieve that goal of sleeping more! Amazing job again Sydney and thank you for answering my question so thoughtfully! I would be super excited to hear more if you do choose to research more on the topics listed above!

        1. I’m planning on doing a lot more research on this topic during the summer, so I will be sure to share my knowledge with you whenever I get the chance in order to inspire you to have better sleep patterns!!

          1. Hahaha that is definitely something i need to work on! It is so hard to break out of bad sleeping patterns but we can do it together!!!

  4. I love the way you have laid out your TED talk. In particular, I really enjoy how you end your talk because it brings it back to the beginning really nicely and the way you say it is just so soothing.

    Something that was mentioned in another TED talk is that the connection between sleep deprivation and mood is a two way street and that while sleep deprivation can make someone angrier and more stressed, people who are angry or stressed may have a harder time falling asleep. Do you think this is the same case for sleep deprivation and mental health? If it is, how do you think we should address the issue of the cycle of less sleep and worse mental health and what do you think are some possible solutions?

    1. Thanks for the thought-provoking question Aileen! I do believe that the link between sleep deprivation and mental health issues is a two-way street, just like how you mentioned that sleep deprivation and mood is a two-way street. This is because, sleep deprivation can cause mental illnesses, which I talked about in my TED talk, and also because sleep deprivation can be a symptom of a variety of mental illnesses, such as depression and psychotic disorders. To answer your second question, I believe that we should all work together to address the problems that are caused by lack of sleep and sleep deprivation in order to educate everyone about the topic and inspire them to have better sleeping patterns. We could to this by sharing my TED talk on social media, or simply talking about our new knowledge with our friends.

  5. Hi Sydney! I really like the topic that you chose as I feel it sends an important message to TALONS students especially, as I feel that many of us make the decision often to give priority to school rather than sleep. I also like how you explained parts of the brain that were involved in sleep deprivation, which gave a scientific perspective to the TED Talk.

    I have a question: You mentioned at one point that the reason that many teenagers don’t get enough sleep due to homework, so what do you think would be a good course of action to take to prevent teenagers from losing sleep over school? Is there any other way besides telling teenagers to not procrastinate?

    1. Thanks for your comment Colin!
      To answer your question, in my case, the main reason why I lose sleep due to homework is because I procrastinate; therefore, I do not have the right to blame my teachers for my loss of sleep. However, I know quite a few students who are always feeling very overwhelmed with the amount of school work that they have, and often have to lose sleep even when they do not procrastinate on their school work. This is why, although it is very difficult, I believe that teachers should work on communicating with each other, and with students, to find out about students’ workload, and see how they can adapt and change their courses to help the students. In addition to this, I believe that instead of simply telling teenagers to not procrastinate, teachers should help the students by teaching them how not to procrastinate and by giving them tips and tricks for staying productive.

  6. Excellent video Sydney! I loved your presentation, and how well put together your script was. I was wondering if there was any way to get back lost sleep by sleeping extra hours? Or, is a sleep deficit impossible to pay off?

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed my talk Alan! It’s interesting that you bring up the question about making up for sleep loss by sleeping a few extra hours when you are able to because it is related to a myth that I was originally planning on breaking, but never found an opportunity to make it fit into my presentation. The myth that I wanted to break was the belief that you are able to make up for sleep loss on the weekends, when you are able to fit in a few extra hours of sleep. This; however, is simply a myth. Although extra sleep on the weekends can help you feel less tired, gettibg less sleep on weekdays and more sleep on the weekends isn’t a healthy sleep pattern. The sleep loss on the weekdays will still make you go through mood swings and make you more susceptible to mental illnesses. This is why you should try to plan out your schedule so that you are able to get enough sleep even on the weekdays.

  7. Outstanding! Sydney your presentation was fantastic! There are so many great things to say about it, where do I start? Let’s start with your speech/script, everything you said I feel like I could identify with, I love my sleep as much as the next person but sometimes I feel like I don’t get enough sleep due to some of the things you mentioned (homework). You were also very clear and enunciated and expressed everything excellently! Another great thing about your talk was your slides in the background, they really helped me keep focused on what was being and taught and really aided in your teaching. I’m curious about something though after enjoying your video, I’ve heard in the past that each person has differing required amounts of sleep, so does that mean people can be experiencing the ill effects of sleep deprivation to their psyche, even when they believe they are getting there required amount of sleep? Any how thanks for the great video, hope you didn’t lose to much sleep making it!

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