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Effects of Sleep Deprivation
Transcript of Effects of Sleep Deprivation
Elementary School Students
Studies are showing that even elementary age children are not getting the proper sleep that they need, (10-11 hours) even due to later start times.
Studies show that technology is often a major factor in sleep deprivation, especially in kids that TVs in their rooms.
This chronic sleeplessness can result in many problems for young school children as observed by their teachers.
In young children, sleep deprivation most often results in a lack of or limited attention. This may lead teachers and parents to believe that some students may have ADD, when really they may just not be getting enough sleep.
While these children were able to asses their feelings of tiredness, they were unable to accurately asses how it affected their cognitive abilities especially in test taking.
5th graders that participated in the study tended to be more stressed with school, and extracurricular activities as they are on the threshold of adolescence.
High School Students
Students this age transfer into a circadian sleep phase- go to bed later and prefer to wake later. However, students in high school tend to be more stressed with the amount of school work and other outside pressures.
Students who kept sleep journals reported losing 120 minutes of sleep each night just in the first two weeks of school, while weekend hours of sleep increased- created an unhealthy balance.
These students were given three tests throughout the day- in the morning, at lunch, and in the afternoon- and consistently did worse on the tests given at the 6:30am-8am hour after insufficient sleep.
These highly motivated students were not at their best early in the morning and proved that they were unaware of their lack of cognitive functions in the effort that they put forward in each test.
Researchers suggest that changes need to be put in place to combat sleep deprivation in adolescents for the purposes of health and academic success.
College students often participate in "voluntary" sleep deprivation especially around exam times in order to compensate for their heavy work loads. Most college students reported getting 8-0 hours of sleep on a normal weeknight. The college environment also adds to the societal pressures to stay up late at night. Parental control in this area has dissipated by this age.
Severely sleep deprived students scored poorly on cognitive tasks in comparison to their well rested peers. However, when asked to rate their overall performance on the exam, they often rated their performance higher than it actually was, and even rated their performance higher than those of their well rested peers.
Sleeplessness affects our ability to judge the extent of our cognitive abilities and some students were shown to put in more effort to compensate for their poor mental state. This increase in effort showed no positive results in the final exam scores.
A good night's sleep is essential to the development, growth and health of the human body. However, over 74% of Americans report suffering from sleep deprivation- while 39% reported getting less than 7 hours of sleep on weeknights.
Our bodies need sleep in order for our brains to remain active in growing and repairing mood, memory, and reaction time.
Each age group and individual differs in the amount of sleep that they need. Young children and teens need about 9-11 hours while most adults need 7-8 hours.
Most people (children- adults) do not get the sufficient sleep that they need for a host of reasons (work, school work, sports, technology). This chronic sleeplessness opens our bodies and brains up to a host of negative cognitive and physical consequences.
Cognitive and Physical Consequences
Sleep deprivation can cause serious cognitive and physical consequences that effect the academic success of students in particular.
Chronic sleeplessness causes our reaction times to become dull which results in more traffic accidents per year. In driving tests, individuals with sleep deprivation scored just as poorly as drunk drivers.
It also affects our working memory and our ability to recall stored information in academic settings. Attention span is reduced when individuals exhibit sleep deprivation as well.
During sleep cycles, our brain secretes hormones that allow our bodies to grow and repair cells and tissue. The body also creates cytokines during sleep which help our bodies fight infection.
Individuals that are chronically sleep deprived are more likely to suffer from obesity, diabetes, heart disease, strokes, or heart attacks.
What we can do...
Later start times for older children?
More parent control?
Education on healthy sleep patterns in school?
More teacher awareness and recognition?
Less parental/school stress?
Many people may believe that older students may be better equipped to deal with sleep deprivation, yet college students and even adults are seriously affected by a lack of sleep.
Studies show that college students are more likely to engage in risk behaviors when they are chronically sleep deprived. These behaviors may include, depression, physical fights, suicidal feelings, increased stress, and abuse of alcohol and drugs.
More traffic accidents have also been reported with the excuse of sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep dulls our reaction times.
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The impact of school daily schedule on adolescent sleep
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