Nowadays, an entire diversity of pernicious factors that severely affect human body can be observed, such as, depletion of the environment, rapid pace of modern life, malnutrition, constant stress and consistent disturbance of the daily regime. These factors may induce one to feel depressed, emotionally unstable and cause overall health deterioration. Ever-changing life circumstances do not provide a modern individual with a full sense of what could help to alleviate this strain. Very often, due to a significant lack of time, people tend to interfere with their sleep regimes, which has a truly detrimental effect on the body and its functioning. The modern youth, students, in particular, are relatively unconscious about their health. That, in turn, may break down their sleep cycles, causing nervousness, lack of attention, irritation and continuous fatigue, whilst not even suspecting the reason for such inferior conditions. Scientific studies prove that sleep deprivation has a significant impact on student’s efficiency and negative substantial decrements brought to their lifestyle and health. (Léger et al. 2006) Many students report on sleep disruption, as well as frequent use of recreational psychoactive drugs to shift their sleep cycle and raise alertness. Students who are classified as poor-sleepers are also noticed with several physical and psychological problems, stating that academic stress negatively impacted their sleep quality (Lund, Reider, Prichard, 2010). For adolescents, sleep is an imperative part of life. During sleep, all the essential information received during classes is absorbed and processed by brain that is why young adults need more physical rest in order to effectively accomplish their daytime tasks. Therefore, it is essential for students to obtain energy from so-called short-term naps, helping students to retain as much knowledge as possible during education encounters.
This paper is intended to address to the readers from education and health sectors. The framework of the paper is bearing an argumentative character that will enable to demonstrate the significance of the dispute and determine the core ideas of the solutions. The following paper outlines the decisive causes and considerable consequences of sleep deprivation amongst students, analysing how educational institutions are able to aid young adults in order to enhance their interest in studies and overall academic performance as, the encouragement of university and college policies along with study curriculum that would reinforce the concept of adequate and healthy sleep regime, may have a profound positive impact on mental and physical health, learning dexterity, and general productivity of students.
Body paragraph 1: What is sleep à
Sleep is a natural physiological process of being in a state at a minimum level of the brain activity and reduced response to the outside world, concisely, called as general inhibition. On a regular basis, a healthy human-being spends almost a third of the lifetime in sleep that represents a cyclic phenomenon, taking 7 to 9 hours per day. (Watson et al. 2012) During sleep, in the state of a complete rest, the level of all anabolic processes rises. The onset of sleep is eminently dependent on many aspects such as, the lighting and place. With darkness, the human body produces the crucial hormone melatonin stimulating an irresistible desire to sleep. Therefore, Ivan Pavlov, Russian physiologist, called sleep a protective inhibition for the human. Sleep is the prime help for human’s nervous system, as it largely protects body from fatigue and mental load. (Pilkington 2018) It is an absolutely unique state of human consciousness that includes a number of stages regulated by discrete brain structures, systematically repeated throughout the night. Despite the fact this phenomenon, which is requisite for every living creature that has been experimentally researched for decades, so far scientists have not been able to entirely reveal why do people need sleep.
Body paragraph 2: Why do we need sleep? à
The primary reason for all human beings to be in need of consistent sleep lies in restoring of the energy spent within the daylight hours. During sleep, the body itself turn on recovery processes, gradually withdrawing substances that stimulate the feeling of fatigue and energizing muscles. The human body has distinctive mechanisms of self-recovery that are launched at these crucial stages of sleep cycle, sustaining natural conditions of health and state of mind. During the daytime, brain cells create networks with other units of the brain by virtue of the new knowledge input. Whereas during sleep, imperative networks are strengthened, and insignificant are pruned. Latter experiments with sleep – deprived rats have demonstrated that the process of strengthening and pruning occurs essentially in the course of sleep, where the brain has a great chance to eliminate the unnecessary waste. (Ghosh 2015) However, if one fails to obtain a sufficient amount of vital rest, causing sleep deprivation, the body cells can behave in an utterly altered manner influencing overall wellness.
Body paragraph 3: Sleep deprivation causes à
Some people may consider sleep as a sheer misuse of time and deprive themselves of sleep on purpose in pursuance of important life priorities as, for instance, entertainment, career commitment, and educational objectives. Nevertheless, the main underlying issue of disrupted sleep patterns for most people is insomnia, such intentional sleep deprivation is most common amongst teenagers and young adults as, for instance, university students. The causes of sleep disruption include physiologic, environmental and behavioral factors. Sleep cycle stages change over the course of a lifetime, from childhood through old age. A broad range of climate and lifestyle factors, as light or noise, anxiety or nutrition, have a direct consequential impact on lives of the young population. (Sleep Architecture 2017)
Body paragraph 4: Sleep deprivation causes of students à
Such behavioral sleep insufficiency is primarily associated with chronic deprivation caused by habitual patterns of sleep. This particularly may occur as students are often substantially ignorant of the system’s natural demand for sleep, preferring wakefulness, thus restricting the sleep time. (Yolanda Smith 2017) Inadequate sleep hygiene of young people is one of the main motives. This involves regulation of intake of caffeine and energy stimulants, which is as well associated with the higher consumption of alcohol and use of energizing drugs. Furthermore, technology is highly impactful towards irregular sleep routines of students, as generation-Y are known to be exceedingly active gadget users taking the most advantage of the use of hi-tech advancements. According to science, it has been evidenced that melatonin, responsible for sleep cycle control, is drastically suppressed by the light coming from electronics that in turn dramatically interrupts with normal sleeping schedule. (McCabe et al. 2005) Consistent sleep and wake patterns of going to bed late, frequent nighttime arousals or getting up too early may lead to sleep deprivation and accumulation of the sleep debt. Therefore, life-threatening causes of irregular sleep regime can be observed in form of chronic sleep disorders.
Body paragraph 5: Sleep disorders among students à
The abundance of sleep disorders amongst student population has not been completely recognized and it is indefinite whether the pervasiveness and high level of sleepiness is caused by the insufficient amount of sleep or some undiagnosed sleep disorder. Although reported sleep disorders in adults tend to increase with age, these may also occur among students. Moreover, disorders amid students may vary in sex, ethnicity and culture aspects. (Avidan 2005) Studies suggest that more than 30 percent of students are at risk of sleep disorders that in turn may have highly negative implications on their life-cycles. These disorders involve: sleep apnea, insomnia, restless legs disorder, circadian rhythm sleep disorders and hypersomnia. (Gaultney 2010) A number of factors that may cause these are identified as anxiety and misbalance, psychiatric issues and the environment.
Body paragraph 6: Sleepiness amongst students à
According to the National Sleep Foundation, so-called ‘night owl’ phenomenon is extremely prevalent amongst young adults and arises in conjunction with the processes of maturity. (Ojile 2017) Physiological delay in circadian preference is exceptionally characteristic to adolescents, as students demonstrate roughly a 1 to 3 hours sleep deficit on study nights as well as extended sleeping hours during weekends. (Jenni and Carskadon 2007) For some students, sleep deprivation is termed as ‘all-nighter’, implying to that one stays aroused for twenty-four hours or else more in order to accomplish a particular objective. Thus, many modern university students harshly underestimate the great importance of adequate amount of sleep and are still confronting the physiology of adolescence that may have compound adverse consequences.
Body paragraph 7: Consequences of disrupted sleep schedule on healthà
The quality and amount of sleep have a direct relation to human’s overall ability to function throughout the light hours. The most frequent effects of irregular sleep involve continuous fatigue, deficiency of concentration, frequent mood swings, and instability. Nevertheless, sleep deprivation is also linked to a range of more severe long-term health effects. These include chronic medical conditions as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart diseases, which accordingly might lead to reduced life expectancy. (Sleep And Disease Risk 2007) Sleep is a crucial process for healthy diet maintenance, as deficiency of sleep along with lack of physical activity and overeating are recognized as the fundamental causes of obesity. Furthermore, functioning of the memory and learning abilities are directly interrelated with the regulation of sleep schedules. Continuous sleep deprivation may have an immense significance deleteriously affecting the performance quality of cognitive tasks involving logical reasoning, recognition of assumptions, and deduction in students. (Pilcher and Walters 1997) Major Scientific findings suggest that sleep has a primary role in consolidation of the normal memory functioning.
Body paragraph 8: How education institutions are able to help students? à
Healthy lifestyle trends as well as active engagement in sports towards students have been encouraged and promoted in universities for a long time now. Nevertheless, today’s 21st century students are facing the fundamental problem of dramatically widespread unhealthy sleep deprivation pattern. In accordance with this fact, the modern education may have to take into consideration the essential needs of the students in order to optimize their productivity in line with today’s life challenges that students are forced to overcome during their studies. Taking into account, numerous negative effects of irregular sleep schedules, some educational interventions may be generated enabling to uncover solutions of the problem. Despite the fact, there is an intense scarcity in information sources accessible for examination on the efficient measures for improvement of sleep within students, some primary data recommend several major solutions. (Blunden SL 2012)
One of the primary objectives for effective education system, lies in improvement of sleep hygiene in students’ lifestyle that is highly valuable in construction of the potential study programs, as decent sleep hygiene practices are interconnected with the sleep quality. Recent research, held in clinical environment, have demonstrated that improving sleep hygiene knowledge and practices is an effective treatment for insomnia of the students. (Brown et al. 2002) Therefore, taking into account this data, it still may be problematical to achieve the suitable conditions and amend the environments within university campuses and student residences into focus on sleep hygiene factors. Nevertheless, providing the students with sleep educating information through university’s press or radio, with signals on sleep regulations targeted at subconscious stimuli would have an effect on a larger amount of student population. Furthermore, short educational sessions that would aim at supportive interaction would enable students to evaluate and analyze their own quality of sleep stimulating towards improvement.
The number of sleep hours amongst students is also vastly influenced by the studies scheduling and curriculum. Modification of the course starting time to later hours may also have a positive effect on the mood and alertness decreasing the general sleepiness. Hence, daytime naps integrated into the study schedules may become a prospective resolution in facilitation of greater academic performance results of students. Regular 10 to 20 minutes naps are able to enhance attentiveness and memory processes throughout the daytime, affecting the body system better than caffeine in terms of improved recall memory, emotional stability and efficiency in task accomplishment. As a matter of fact, students with rather higher grades are taking systematic naps while lower performance is shown by those students, who do not sleep during the day. (Eliasson et al. 2009)
In addition to the traditional methods of sleep regulation, education institutions may also need to look into more advanced technology-based behavioral sleep therapies for students. Getting to know self-sleep-IQ and how to manage regimes on electronic platforms would be an engaging way for modern students to find a subtle decision for a major problem. Some of the therapies, involve personalized e-mail delivery with attached content on sleep stabilisation, methods of recreation harmless for sleep cycles and recommendations for sleep hours, according to the curriculum. Such programs in line with advanced gadget software would enable reduction of depression and stress signals. Such innovative solutions are highly promising for the students of the future, as it would be extensively comprehensible and economically effective for universities’ budget, giving out the benefit to both content and energized students, and high academic performance scores of educational institutions.