Sleep Deprivation Among College Students

In today’s modern society, the average college student is sleep deprived more than ever. Sleep deprivation is the situation or condition of suffering from a lack of sleep. Sleep deprivation is real, and only researchers are the only ones who know it is a big problem throughout colleges and universities worldwide.

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Sleep deprivation has many factors leading to it, but also has just as many effects. Within the articles Awareness of effects of sleep deprivation among college students. by Abigail Nirandhi Ranasinghe, R. Gayathri, and V. Vishnu Priya; Sleep Quality and Academic Performance in University Students: A Wake-Up Call for College Psychologists. by Steven P. Gilbert and Cameron C. Weaver; Association of Stress, General Health, and Alcohol Use with Poor Sleep Quality among U.S. College Students. by Teresa D. Valerio, Myoung Jin Kim, and Kathy Sexton-Radek; and Impact of a sleep course on sleep, mood and anxiety symptoms in college students: A pilot study. by Argelinda Baroni, Jean-Marie Bruzzese, Christina A. Di Bartolo, Adam Ciarleglio and Jess P. Shatkin; all explain the many different reasons why college students aren’t getting enough sleep. The articles mentioned in the paper all discuss results, the results are the problems that are causing college students to have poor sleep quality. Some impacts on sleep deprivation can be mental and emotional health, sleep quality, and sleep problems. Students need to know how important sleep is and why they need more sleep than what they perceive they need.

Disturbed or insufficient sleep is common among college students, with 70% of the students attaining insufficient sleep, 50% reporting daytime sleepiness, and more than 30% reporting severe sleep difficulties (Baroni, A., Bruzzese, J., Di Bartolo, C. A., Ciarleglio, A., & Shatkin, J. P., 41-50). Numerous studies throughout the world have been conducted on sleep deprivation and how college students can be affected. The research was conducted by using surveys and recording activities that were done before going to sleep, as well as after. All the researchers included in the numerous studies focused on many different variables, but only the ones that affected students the most. The results from the three different studies had some similarities but also differences, but nothing major. This paper is going to examine the purpose of the studies and to better understand what common factors can lead to sleep deprivation.

Sleep deprivation can affect both your mental and emotional health, which can lead to more severe consequences. In Teresa D. Valerio’s, Myoung Jin Kim’s, and Kathy Sexton-Radek’s study focused on college students throughout the world and associated them with behaviors and functions that impacted their sleep quality. Behaviors that were taken into consideration were alcohol, cigarette, and drug use, as well as, how your general health was functioning. The amount of sleep can affect your sleep quality which can be foundational to emotional health. When the amount of sleep needed was not reached, students became stressed because they felt as if they were behind due to not understanding the material in their classes. Students academics fell dramatically along with their quality of sleep, because of the late-night assignments that needed to be done (Valerio et al.).

Researchers want colleges to put on interventions to show students what late nights and less sleep does for them. Not only is their academic standing decreasing, but their overall long-term quality of life is dramatically decreasing as well. When your long-term quality of life is at risk, your mental and emotional states of health are at risk. In this study, researchers looked at how stressed students were beforehand and during the study. Stress levels increased, while sleep quality was decreasing causing their health to get out of balance. The results to this study affected Caucasian females, who were about twenty years of age, enrolled full-time, single, and not a member of a sorority the most (Valerio et al.).

Sleep quality is a concern in colleges throughout the world, in this case, half way across the world. Y. Y. Tsui, and Y. K. Wing, conducted a similar study, and their purpose was to investigate sleep problems and patterns of university students who were majoring in business at a Hong Kong University. Having a study done on sleep quality in China, shows that this is a major topic among the many universities throughout the world. Even though this is an older study, results showed that female students who are about the age of twenty are sleep deprived. Just like in the 2016 study, the results are similar and shows that universities and colleges are not letting their students know how important it is to get a good night’s sleep (Tsui et al.).

From the Tsui et al. study, further conclusions showed, that attending early morning lectures and living on-campus were the biggest factors of students being sleep deprived. The researchers that conducted this study on the University, wants schools to show their students the importance of sleep and time management so they do not become stressed. In this study, Decreased sleep quality has been linked to a variety of mental and physical problems, including the feelings of depression, anxiety, and fatigue. As a result, there is a growing concern about university students’ sleep habits and problems especially in relation to their health and well-being (Y. Y. Tsui, and Y. K. Wing, p. 167).

The final study by Argelinda Baroni, Jean-Marie Bruzzese, Christina A. Di Bartolo, Adam Ciarleglio and Jess P. Shatkin, was conducted to determine a student’s sleep course, and what was impacting the students sleep behaviors, mood, and anxiety. Students were studied by many different tests that needed to be taken throughout the course of the study. Results showed students who dropped out of the study and who did not. Among these two categories, the results were either significantly above the average or were right on the baseline of being average (Baroni et al.).

Overall conclusions were based on what impacted the students sleep quality. Mental and emotional health statuses were big impacts due to increased levels of depression and anxiety. The researchers strongly suggested putting on interventions that sleep education and targeted cognitive behavioral skills can eliminate the sleep problems and possibly the more severe effects. Lastly, there was more positive than negative data within the study. Students did show improvement in sleep parameters, mood, and anxiety when the study was concluded (Baroni et al.).

Finally, throughout the studies, there were noticeable similarities that needed to be brought to attention. Within the first two studies discussed, there commonalities were that females who were about the age of twenty were more sleep deprived than others. Another similarity between the first two studies, was the time of day, whether it was staying up late doing work or getting up early for class, both had major impacts on the students sleep quality. The first and third studies that were discussed, really wanted college to put on interventions so that their students can be educated on why sleep is really important. The last study that was discussed, tied in to the two others by having the same three main themes. These three themes were, impacts on mental and emotional health, sleep quality, and sleep problems.

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