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Effects Of Sleep Deprivation On Students Academic Performance

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Does Sleep Deprivation Effect College Students Academic Performance?

Literature Review
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines sleep as the natural periodic suspension of consciousness during which the powers of the body are restored (sleep. 2016. In Merriam-Webster.com.). Sleep is an essential biological function with major roles in recovery, energy conservation, and survival. Sleep also appears to be important for vital function such as neural development, learning, memory, emotional regulation, cardiovascular and metabolic function, and cellular toxin removal. It has been said that we spend approximately one third of our lives asleep. Rat studies have been conducted where total sleep deprivation leads to death within 3 weeks (Mukherjee, Sutapa;
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The college experience is of great value in providing emerging adults with a structured environment in which they can gain the knowledge, skills, and independence to chart their own path, become successfully employed, and contribute to society. However, this experience comes at great cost. A potential obstacle to maximizing success in college is the high prevalence of sleep deprivation, and irregular sleep patterns. Sleep deprivation and sleepiness are caused by a host of reasons and have numerous negative consequences. Sleep deprivation is often termed either acute sleep deprivation or chronic partial sleep deprivation. For students, acute sleep deprivation is termed “pulling an all-nighter”, meaning that a person stays up for 24 hours or longer. More typically, sleep deprivation consists of chronic partial sleep deprivation, where a student obtains some, but not adequate sleep. Sleepiness can be an obvious consequence of sleep deprivation (Hershner, S., & Chervin, R. (2014)). Day time sleepiness as a consequence of poor sleep quality, can seriously impair students’ cognitive functioning and behavioral performance ( Curcio, Ferrara , De Gennaro 2006). A sufficient amount of sleep is required for ones’ mental and physical status, for cognitive restitution, processing, learning, and memory consolidation. Many researches showed that sleep deprivation as well…show more content…
Sleep deprivation and poor sleep patterns affects cognitive and motor processes as well as emotional stability (Pilcher & Huffcutt, 1996). Given that sleep affects cognitive functioning, sleep quantity should be a major concern for college students, for whom academic performance is a priority. There have been many studies that link “unhealthy sleep habits” with decreased cognitive functioning and academic performance. Pilcher and Huffcutt (1996) performed a meta-analysis on existing studies dealing with sleep deprivation and its effects upon various daytime functions. They define partial sleep deprivation as getting less than five hours of sleep in a night, short-term total sleep deprivation as a period of no sleep lasting less than or equal to 45 hours, and long-term total sleep deprivation as a period of no sleep lasting longer than 45 hours. Partial sleep deprivation is linked with decreased cognitive functioning, while long-term sleep deprivation is associated with mood disorders (Pilcher & Huffcutt, 1996). Sleepiness and irregular sleep schedules have many unintended consequences, one of which is to negatively impact learning, memory, and performance. Certain types of memory are dependent on specific sleep states, such that procedural memory (knowing how) may be dependent on REM sleep and declarative memory (knowing what)
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