SLEEP DEPRIVATION AND COLLEGE STUDENTS
SleepDeprivation and College Students
[Nameof the Student]
[Nameof the University]
SleepDeprivation and College Students
Sleep deprivation is very common among college students because ofthe overload of their activities. Studying for examinations, outingand partying with peers, stresses owing to family and relationshiprelated complications etc. are the most common reasons why collegestudents are sleep deprived. Studies show that we need at least 7 to8 hours of sleep per day and the physical and cognitive performancehas already been associated with sleep deprivation (Parker, 2008).This is even truer for college students. Sleep deprivation negativelyimpacts their safety, health and emotional wellbeing, and mostimportantly their GPA. Therefore, this essay will talk about theoutcomes of sleep deprivation and how it linked to the academicperformance of college students. Moreover, the essay will discuss theimportance of sleep in enhancing students’ memory and learning, thephysical and mental health issues related to sleep deprivation andfinally, the essay will suggest when college students should getprofessional help regarding their sleep deprivation.
Sleep loss is associated with myriad of emotional and physicalissues. According to Lund, Reider, Whiting, & Prichard (2010),health risks due to sleep deprivation include- a weak immune systemthat leads to frequent sickness, more fatigue and stress, weightgain, lowered academic performance and GPA, diminished athleticperformance in students, more automobile accidents because of ‘drowsydriving’, lower cognitive abilities and loss of coordination, andincreased anxiety and depression. In this regard, Hershner (2015)mentioned that, “College students are often at risk for havingmental health issues such as depression and anxiety, and researchersbelieve that lack of sleep is a factor” (p. 14). According to theauthor, sleep loss leads to depression, anxiety and stress. Inaddition, this also negatively impacts the students’ relationshipswith other people. Robbins (2015) stated that, lack of sleep can evenlead to death, but most people are unaware of this risk. As mentionedabove, sleep deprivation weakens the immune system. As a result, thebody’s capability of protecting us from infections decreaseseventually and consequently, we keep on suffering from more illness.It also affects the lung and heart function adversely, which amountsto hypertension (high blood pressure), and chronic heart and lungdisease. All these mental and physical health issues due to sleeploss can actually affect the academic performance of collegestudents.
Getting enough sleep is very important in enhancing students’memory and learning. In his book, Parker (2008) suggested that, whenwe sleep, our brain stores, sorts and organizes everything we haveexperienced and learned all through the day, thereby, enabling us toremember those things better at a later time. Proper sleep alsoassists our brain to get rid of data and information that are notrelevant. Therefore, making better connections between informationand memory becomes a lot easier for us. This is very important forcollege students because they have to study hard and then memorizeand recall those things during their tests. As sleep enhances anddevelops recalling abilities, so getting enough sleep is very crucialfor college students. As a result, the author suggests students tostudy for at least 2 to 3 hours per day and use sleep as a naturalprocess of gaining a better comprehension of the things studiedthroughout the day and retain those information in the brain in aneffective way. Consequently, Parker (2008) further suggested studentsnot to be stressed over their examinations or any study relatedproblems. Rather, they should sleep on it.
Robbins (2015) thinks that, college students should seekprofessional help (from a clinician or a psychiatrist) immediately ifthey experience any of the following symptoms- not being able tosleep even after trying hard and frequently waking up during sleepfor a period of 2-3 weeks, falling asleep at the wrong times evenafter getting enough sleep at night, sleep walking, havingnightmares, having night terrors (the state of waking up with aterrible feeling but not being able to recollect the dream), havingmorning headaches and easily falling asleep during the day, andabruptly waking up from sleep due to breathlessness. If collegestudents experience any one of these symptoms for a prolonged periodof time then they should consult an expert as soon as possible.
The paper laid out the detrimental health and emotional effects ofsleep deprivation among college students, how getting enough sleephelps them improve their academic and personal life and when theyshould get professional help if their sleep deprivation gets out ofhand. Sleep loss leads to several health and emotional disorders.However, getting enough sleep helps college students manage theiracademic stress better and learn things more effectively and quickly,which leads to better academic performance. And finally, collegestudents should not take sleep deprivation lightly. They should takeprofessional help if they face any complications related to sleeploss. Therefore, further research should be conducted on how collegestudents can avoid sleep deprivation.
Annotated Reference List
Baltz, J. (2016). Is Sleep DeprivationThe New College Norm?. The Huffington Post. Retrieved4 June 2016, fromhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/jacqueline-baltz/sleep-deprivation-the-norm-college_b_9586402.html
This article pointed out the common reasons ofsleep deprivation among college students.
Hershner, S. (2015). Is sleep a luxury thatcollege students cannot afford?. Sleep Health, 1(1),13-14. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sleh.2014.12.006
The article discussed the emotional healthissues related to sleep loss.
Lund, H., Reider, B., Whiting, A., &Prichard, J. (2010). Sleep Patterns and Predictors of Disturbed Sleepin a Large Population of College Students. Journal OfAdolescent Health, 46(2), 124-132.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2009.06.016
The health risks associated with sleepdeprivation were mentioned in this article.
Parker, G. (2008). Sleep deprivationand college students.
Parker’s book advices students how they canimprove their academic performance by getting enough sleep.
Robbins, R. (2015). Social conversation and itsrelationship to sleep behavior among college students. SleepHealth, 1(4), 304-310.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sleh.2015.09.012
Robbins’ article talked about when studentsshould get help from professionals if they face different sleepdeprivation related complications for several weeks.