The Effects Of Sleep Deprivation On Students

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Sleep deprivation, the inability to have the required amount of sleep, is an issue that is not taken seriously in adolescent students. It is a direct result of an early start time for school; as students consistently rise early and go to bed late, they will lose more and more sleep, thus not being able to reach the correct amount of sleep and becoming sleep deprived. The bulk of the population does not realize the physical, mental, and academic consequences sleep deprivation has on students, which can be severe. By not sleeping enough, students are at a higher risk for developing obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Students have a lower immune response, which increases the chance of becoming sick, and consequently being absent in school. Furthermore, there are behavioral issues that impact students. There is a stronger chance of risky behavior, such as substance abuse and sex, and a slower reaction time, causing a surplus of unnecessary car crashes. Many students have attitude and mood problems that stem from sleep deprivation; one study showed that teens with less than eight hours of sleep reported depression symptoms (Wahlstrom). Not only can having such an early start impact a student’s sleep cycle, it can also impact their happiness and choices. The effects of sleep deprivation at the physical and mental level are not the only issue; students are having an increasingly hard time with the academic consequences. Overall, an inverse relationship has been shown between the amount of sleep and the academic performance of a student at every education level (“A. Academic Performance”). Students’ grades are declining due to the insufficient sleep received daily. As a consequence, attention is dwindling- even progressing to period... ... middle of paper ... ... of teen car crashes has decreased by an astonishing amount. When a start time changed from 7:35 a.m. to 8:55 a.m. there was a 70% decrease in crashes (Wahlstrom). Not only does a later start time have an impact on students, it also has an impact on the community. The benefits of changing school start times are undeniable; students receive higher grades, increase their hours of sleep and ability to learn, and are safer on and off the roads. The majority of the population is unaware of the severe consequences of sleep deprivation, but sleep deprivation is an important issue among adolescent students that parents, students, and school authorities need to be educated on. Schools changing the start time to 8:30 a.m. or later would allow students to more easily obtain the required amount of sleep, combating sleep deprivation and its physical, mental, and academic effects.
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