How does loss of sleep affect students?

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Lauren DiRienzo

More stories from Lauren DiRienzo

An exhausted senior

An exhausted senior

With the start of the school year, students are getting less sleep and suffering from it. With tons of homework and studying to do, on top of all of the sports and extracurricular activities, there isn’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. This leads to students staying up late to finish assignments and having to wake up early to get to school on time. It’s a vicious cycle, it goes from one late night of homework a week to five very quickly, and all this lost sleep adds up.

During sleep, your body heals itself and restores its chemical balance. Your brain makes new connections and memory retention occurs. Without enough sleep, your brain and body systems don’t function normally. Sleep deprivation causes all kinds of health problems, including memory issues, trouble with thinking and concentration, mood changes, weakened immunity, high blood pressure, weight gain, risk of diabetes, risk of heart disease, and poor balance (Healthline.com). Studies have shown that sleep deprivation causes difficulty focusing and staying on task. Lack of sleep makes it harder for students to pay attention and complete tasks efficiently. Also, memories are formed during sleep. So, students who sleep well are better able to learn and remember the previous day’s lesson(Scrubbing.in.com). Sleep deprivation leaves your brain exhausted and makes it impossible to perform its duties well. It affects your mental abilities and emotional state. A study done published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that teenagers who experience sleep disturbances are more likely to receive bad grades(PsyArticles.com). Insufficient sleep has a large effect on how well students perform in school.

Madison Dodger Online(MDO) interviewed a high-achieving senior, Alessandra Pagano(AP), to see how sleep deprivation affects her and her performance in school.

(MDO): How many hours of sleep do you usually get?

(AP): It varies, but probably around six hours because I play tennis.

(MDO): What time do you normally go to sleep and wake up?

(AP): I go to sleep at eleven and wake up at five o’clock to do my homework.

(MDO): How does your lack of sleep affect your productivity in school?

(AP): Because of my involvement in tennis, I don’t have a lot of time to do my homework and study. When I wake up early to finish my homework, it’s often rushed. But, this is partly my fault because I decided to take four A.P. classes.

Alessandra Pagano’s case is similar to many students at Madison High School. They are involved in many extracurricular activities and sports and lose sleep to finish their assignments. In turn, this makes it harder for them to concentrate and get work done during the school day and can have many negative long-term effects.

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