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Sleep Depravation In College Students Essay

1881 words - 8 pages

Literature Review
College students are some of the most active and stressed individuals in today’s society. Social pressures and scholastic achievement keep this population at a constant state of exhaustion. College students are apt to put sleep at the bottom of their to-do lists without giving further consideration largely due to full schedules. College students often do not understand the importance sleep has for their mental, physical, and overall health. Individuals in this age group require around nine hours of sleep in any given night, but most students report they only receive between seven and eight hours of sleep (Forquer, 2008). According to a survey by the American College Health Association that was distributed to 33 universities across the United States, both men and women rated sleep difficulty as the third most common impediment to their academic performance (Forquer, 2008).
Even if college students get an adequate amount of sleep, it is hard to determine if the sleep is always ‘good’ sleep or ‘bad’. Good sleep is qualified by deep, uninterrupted sleep patterns; bad sleep is seen as sleep that is sporadic or interrupted. A study by the National Sleep Foundation reported that an average of 40% of Americans have difficulty falling asleep or wake up multiple times throughout the night; this is indicative of ‘bad’ sleep (Forquer, 2008). One of the most important factors in determining if the sleep an individual is getting is ‘good,’ is whether or not they routinely feel rested throughout their day (Mayo Clinic, 2014). If an individual feels drowsy or loses their concentration on low-stimulus activities, such as talking on the phone or driving, then chances are they are not getting enough sleep or are not getting ‘good’ sleep (Mayo Clinic, 2014). Inadequate amounts of sleep lead to drowsiness and an overall impairment of concentration to perform complex or in-depth tasks (Mayo Clinic, 2014). Individuals who were classified as having ‘good’ sleep have been found to have significantly better memory than those who had ‘bad’ sleep when evaluated based on their total sleep time, sleep awakenings after onset, and sleep efficiency (Fabbri, Tonetti, Martoni, & Natale, 2014).
Sleep problems have become an epidemic throughout the United States affecting nearly two-thirds of American adults, including the college population (Becker, 2008). A recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation determined that over half of this population describes their sleep habits as poor (Becker, 2008). Poor sleep quality for the college population has been linked to higher levels of stress, depression, anxiety disorders, and poor academic achievement (Becker, 2008). Having a prolonged feeling of stress and exhaustion can have detrimental effects on a college student’s confidence and abilities. When a college student becomes more interested in where they can fit in time to sleep throughout their day as opposed to upcoming assignments, school performance can...

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