Sleep deprivation is something that every adult, teenager, and child has suffered from at some point in their lives. Being deprived of sleep has negative effects on mood, productivity, immunity against infection, weight, reaction time, memory, blood pressure, and many other things. (Psych textbook pg 90) But what effect does it have on the test scores of teenagers? Most teenagers say they wish that they could get more sleep during the week and claim they often feel the harsh effects of sleep deprivation. (Psych 90) If teenagers were to get more sleep, especially on nights before exams, would teachers see an increase in test scores, grades, and students’ overall productivity? The following research done by many other psychologists helps to answer that question.
For example, in a 1998 study written by David Gozal in Pediatrics Journal called “Sleep Disordered Breathing and School Performance in Children” the author studied sleep apnea in children. He took two hundred and ninety-seven first-grade students that were in the bottom ten percent of their class and tested them for sleep apnea. The author did a one night recording of the children’s pulse oximetry and transcutaneous partial pressure of carbon dioxide to see if they were suffering from sleep apnea. He found that fifty-four of the children were indeed suffering from sleep apnea. Of that fifty-four, twenty-four were medically treated for their sleep apnea by undergoing surgical tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. After observing the grades of all the children for one year after the study, it was determined that the average grades of the children
who had sleep apnea and were medically treated increased overall, while the grades of the children who went untreated or didn’t have sleep apnea went unchanged.
From this research it is clear that the amount of sleep children get can greatly affect how they perform in academic situations.
In similar study performed in 2001 by David Gozal and Dennis W. Pope Jr. sleep apnea was researched again but on middle school students. They sent out questionnaires to public middle school students that were ranked in either the top twenty-five percent or the bottom twenty-five percent of their class. Some of the questions included snoring frequency and loudness from the age’s two to six, tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy for snoring or recurrent infection, school grades, and parental smoking and snoring. The final results of the questionnaire showed that teenagers with a lower academic performance most likely suffered from sleep apnea as a child.
In another study done by William E. Kelly, Kathryne E. Kelly, and Robert C. Clanton research is also done on the correlation of sleep and grades, but unlike the previous examples, instead of studying sleep disorders they research the length of sleep college students get. They classified the students as three different types of sleepers: Short sleepers, who had six or fewer hours, average sleepers, who had seven to eight...