Consequences of Sleep Deprivation on Students

Sleepiness or sleep deprivation can result in lower grade point averages, increased risk of academic failure, compromised learning, impaired mood, and increased risk of motor vehicle accidents, according to a study performed by University of Michigan, and published on the NCBI by Shelley D Hershner and Ronald D Chervin (2014).

Sleepiness is defined as the inability or difficulty in maintaining alertness during the major wake period of the day, resulting in unintended lapses into drowsiness or sleep. In addition, sleep deprivation is defined as obtaining inadequate sleep to support adequate daytime alertness.

“Among college-aged students, one of the most common causes of daytime sleepiness is sleep deprivation, i.e., students get inadequate sleep because they go to bed late and wake up early. This occurs for multiple reasons; some are physiologic and others behavioral.”, said the author.

Students need to maximize their learning, academic, and personal growth. Sleepiness from any cause can compromise these goals, through impact on learning, memory, grades, perception of effort, driving performance, and mood.

Daytime sleepiness is a major problem which is exhibited by (50%) of college students compared to (36%) of adolescents and adults. At least 3 days a week, (60%) of students report that they are dragging, tired, or sleepy.

Universities and colleges need to understand, acknowledge, and publicize that policies and class schedules may have substantial impacts on the sleep, learning, and health of their students.

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