Sleep deprivation


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Sleep deprivation is a common problem for teenage students ranging from the ages of 10 to 19. Sleep deprivation is a general lack of the necessary amount of sleep that one needs. An average teen needs about 8 to 9 hours of sleep each night for a better academic and physical performance during school hours. Teenage students that chose to stay up late on school nights are usually the ones who end up falling asleep in class. This is just one example of the problems a sleep-deprived student faces. This leads to my thesis that sleep deprivation affects a teen-age behavior and performance in school.

The affects of sleep deprivation on a teenage student can affect the ability to function at school. Studies showed that "Sleep deprivation can affect mood/behavior, learning, performance (physically), attention (being focused), and health issues.”( little sleep may cause exhaustion or a loss of Fatigue(exhaustion, a feeling of tiredness or lack of energy) which leads to the causes of a deprived student to have mood swings and behavioral problems , such as crying for no reason or losing temper over small things.

It is necessary for teens to get enough sleep in order to function properly during school hours on a daily basis. Students have to process information given to them by an instructor in order to learn. A lack of sleep may cause a teen's mind to be distracted and not focused, causing their grades to decline. According to Dr.Carskadon, a sleep researcher at Brown University "Teens with A's on their report cards received an hour of more sleep each night and students who had D's and F's on their report cards only had two hours less of sleep then the students with A's."( It is very important to get enough sleep in order for a student to be successful academically and perform in class to the best of their ability.

“What good does it do to try to educate teen-agers so early in the morning?" asks Dr. James B. Maas. "You can be giving the most stimulating, interesting lectures to sleep-deprived kids early in the morning or right after lunch, when they're at their sleepiest, and the overwhelming drive to sleep replaces any chance of alertness, cognition, memory or understanding.” In other words not getting enough sleep can make it difficult for a teen-aged student to learn and concentrate, or even stay awake in class.


James B. Maas is a Professor in Psychology, Education and Communication at Cornell University. Dr. Maas is also one of the nations most sought corporate speakers. He received his B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) from Williams College and his M.A. (Master of Arts) and Ph.D. from Weill Cornell Medical College-Qatar. Dr. Maas researches on sleep and performance, as well as on leadership and critical thinking. (

According to M. Suzanne Stevens, MD (medical Doctor), Assistant Clinical Professor, from the University of Kansas. “Sleep is controlled by neurotransmitters, which act on different neurons in the brain. Some, such as serotonin and norephine which keep the brain active while were awake. Adenosine (believed to play a role in promoting sleep) builds up in our blood while we are awake and breakdown of it causes drowsiness”. She also includes that There are five stages of sleep: and REM (Rapid Eye Movement) “During stages 1-4 of sleep, our brain waves become slower and slower until we switch to REM sleep. At that point, our breathing is more rapid and irregular and our eyes move rapidly under our eyelids”. (

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