Numerous studies have linked sleep deprivation to various negative physical, behavioral, and social outcomes (Gaspar, 2015). Lack of sleep has been linked to poor academic performance, diabetes, anxiety, risky behavior, and delinquency among adolescents, among other things. Most of the effect of not having enough sleep is believed to be due to the process of destroying self-control and cognitive functioning (Meldrum, 2014). As a consequence, such deficiencies are said to cause issues with health and behavior control. Few studies have looked at whether the detrimental effects of not having enough sleep on adolescents are experienced by those who sleep less than the recommended eight hours or only among teens who receive extremely little sleep (Meldrum, 2014). Some studies have found that participation in violent delinquency among adolescents was related to sleeping for less than five hours but was not related to sleeping for more than five hours. Following such findings, it is evident that there is a need for further evaluation of the consequences of average versus more severe levels of sleep deprivation considering the implications for practices as well as policy (Gaspar, 2015). If undesirable effects of enough sleep are less compared to more dangerous forms of deprivations of sleep, then reviews about adolescents having slight to moderate levels of sleep deprivation could be tempered.
Considerable evidence from studies in psychiatry, public health, paediatrics, and sleep indicated that lack of enough sleep has adverse effects on performance both mental and physical health as well as academic performance (Gaspar, 2015). These findings were usually issued by reviews such as Paediatrics, Sleep Medicine Reviews, Sleep Research Journals and Sleep Medicine. Analysis of citation through the Science Web and Google Scholar, indicate that research did not commonly cite these findings in education (Meldrum, 2014). This limited attention to adolescent sleep by educational studies is unexpected because sleep is a fundamental human working including learning. Generally speaking, efforts by new school reforms and pedagogical interventions are less likely to work efficiently if sleep deprivation among adolescents causes them to focus less while in school (Gaspar, 2015).
Consequences of Adolescent Sleep Deprivation
According to research, students who were deprived of sleep were more likely to score poorly unlike their peers who received enough sleep (Meldrum, 2014). Additionally sleep deprivation was linked to substance use, child obesity, risky behaviours, poor memory and deficiency in attention. A review of several studies about child obesity and sleep indicated that children who were deprived of sleep were 58% more likely to become obese compared to their peers who received enough sleep (Gaspar, 2015). Longitudinal studies found that sleep deprivation in teenagers led to substance use, depressive symptoms and anxiety in their adult life especially for teens from low-income families (Paiva, 2016).
Approximately one out of every four teenagers retires to bed during weeknights (Paiva, 2016). Most of those who sleep this late are likely to perform poorly. Younger adolescents who fail to get enough sleep also tend to become oppositional, hyperactive, impulsive and inattentive (Meldrum, 2014). It is not surprising that young people who are deprived of sleep are on their worst behaviour academically.
Sleep encourages processes of the brain which are important to emotional regulation, memory, and learning (Gaspar, 2015).Deprivation of sleep is also known to affect physiology which is necessary for athletic activities negatively. Athletes can be affected due to lack of enough sleep. Impediments comprise athletes movement operations and the incapacity to manage all components of powerful movement altogether (Paiva, 2016). Examples of athletic activities likely to be affected include hurdles and sprints which rely on an integration of striving and power or sports that require athletes to move and coordinate fast such as ball-sports.
Sleep deprivation contributes majorly towards mental health problems among adolescents (Meldrum, 2014). A study involving about 28,000 students from highs school revealed that every hour of deprived sleep is related to a 38% increased risk of feeling hopeless or sad among teenagers and almost 58% rise in suicide attempts(Gaspar, 2015). Adolescents who are deprived of enough sleep are four times likely to experience depression. Lack of enough sleep is common among teenagers A study revealed that teenager who retired early reduced their chance of suffering from depression (Paiva, 2016).
The association between substance use and sleep deprivation in adolescents is a two-way traffic, with the lack of sleep raising the chances of substance use and usage as well as substance use to drive problems of sleep (Meldrum, 2014). In one study, it was discovered that every 10 minutes wasted by an adolescent before retiring to bed, highly implied that they had consumed marijuana and alcohol in the previous month (Gaspar, 2015). Another study showed that sleep problems indicated issues related to a substance such as risky sexual behaviour, drinking and driving, and binge-driving (Paiva, 2016).
Sleep loss is also a source of long-term, undesirable impact on the physical health of young people with sleep deprivation being associated with obesity and diabetes for teenagers (Meldrum, 2014). High school students who are reported to skimp on sleep are more likely to become obese or diabetic in their adult life. Among adolescents who currently have diabetes, sleep deprivation can aggravate their health problems. Studies have indicated that teens who have Type 1 diabetes are more likely to experience the lack of sleep and consequently experience more challenges in controlling sugar as well as blood sugar (Gaspar, 2015).
Anxiety medications and dependence on sleep pills is also an indication of deprived sleep among teenagers (Meldrum, 2014). Whereas prescriptions to help in sleep are not recommended for use by underage individuals, many adolescents are receiving prescribed drugs such as Lunesta and Ambien whose long-term impact is yet to be ascertained (Zhang, 2015). However, one short-lived effect that is important to know about the risk of abusing prescription pills. Another recent study discovered that adolescents who ingest anxiety medication and prescribed pills, that can become addictive, have higher chances of abusing the drugs and medication, unlike their peers without a prescription (Gaspar, 2015).
Conclusion and Recommendations
Sleep is fundamental to all individuals across all age groups (Meldrum, 2014). However, it is particularly significant for the development of procedures in adolescents and children. Therefore, comprehending the degree to which lack of enough sleep leads to undesirable effects is of paramount importance to parents, policymakers, teachers, and clinicians. It has been established that moderate levels of sleep deprivations are not majorly associated with health issues and behavioural problems, while more severe sleep deprivation is highly linked to these outcomes (Zhang, 2015). Persistent attention in analyzing the effects of lack of enough sleep should assist in providing more understanding of the problem. Promoting sleep among students needs combined efforts from students, parents, and schools (Meldrum, 2014). First, guardians should focus more on the sleeping patterns of their children. Previous research conducted indicated that even though about 50% of teenagers were reportedly deprived of sleep, only about 10% of parents knew of the sleeping problems among their children. Additionally, the internet and computer use after school was is usually unstructured and spontaneous and is not supervised by adults. Parents should be well aware of sleep problems and technology use in their children, and form patterns to improve both quality and duration of sleep in adolescents and children (Zhang, 2015). Another study showed that giving a small informational booklet to guardians and parents considerably improved their awareness about healthy sleep for their children and their objective to implement desirable changes to sleep routines for their children (Meldrum, 2014). These educational initiatives ought to be availed to guardians and parents of adolescents. Electronic entertainment gadgets such as mobile phones, music players, game consoles, computers, and televisions should be avoided in the bedrooms. Another simple intervention which can be adopted by parents is to establish bedtime for adolescents. It was discovered that bed times that are set by parents were related to sleepiness, less daytime fatigue, longer bed-time duration and an earlier bedtime (Zhang, 2015). It was also revealed that parents established bed-times for their children on school nights. Also, school-oriented sleep education initiatives are helpful in promoting adolescent's awareness and enhance healthy sleep routines. For effectiveness, such initiatives must not only center on increasing sleep awareness, but also assist students in improving skills and motivation in impacting long-term changes in sleeping patterns.
Up to today education on sleep remains in its initial stages and few institutions are providing school education initiatives to adolescents in school because there is limited knowledge concerning problems of sleep among students within the learning community (Meldrum, 2014). Portable devices have become popular household commodities, making it even more appropriate for adolescents and children to engage in games and other media activities. As revealed in another study, an increase of 40% was registered in additional hours of time spent by young people in mobile games in a span of 2 years. In future, research should carefully observe the pattern of the use of big media and comprehend its effect on student sleep. Moreover, future studies should introduce new sleep education initiatives provided to teachers, parents, and students to examine the effectiveness of these programs (Meldrum, 2014). Their home activities substantially determine the performance of students during the day at home. Research in education is likely to follow a piecemeal way of teaching students that do not perceive students as complete individuals whose emotional, behavioural, cognitive and physical working is intertwined (Zhang, 2015).. Enough sleep is fundamental for the proper development of adolescents and children. Sleep deprivation results in emotional disturbance, energy loss, sleepiness and feelings of fatigue during the day which all influence on ones capacity to learn (Zhang, 2015). Conclusively, policy makers, educational researchers, and parents should gain a better knowledge of widespread of sleep deprivation among adolescents and design intentions and programs to handle the undesirable effects of heavy use of media and other things that contribute to sleep deprivation among adolescents.
Gaspar De Matos, M., Gaspar, T., Tome, G. and Paiva, T. (2015). Sleep deprivation in adolescents: Correlations with school achievement and health related quality of life. Sleep Medicine, 16, p.S177.Retrieved on 14/7/2017
Meldrum, R. and Restivo, E. (2014). The behavioral and health consequences of sleep deprivation among U.S. high school students: Relative deprivation matters. Preventive Medicine, 63, pp.24-28.Retieved on 15/7/2017
Paiva, T., Gaspar, T. and Matos, M. (2016). Mutual relations between sleep deprivation, sleep stealers and risk behaviours in adolescents. Sleep Science, 9(1), pp.7-13.Retrieved on 15/7/2017
Zhang, M., Tillman, D. and An, S. (2015). Global prevalence of sleep deprivation in students and heavy media use. Education and Information Technologies, 22(1), pp.239-254. Retrieved on 14/7/2017
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