The purpose of this study was to examine the possible consequences of sleep deprivation among college students.
Literature from thirty-two professional journal articles, and twelve professional websites were reviewed. The resulting information was organized into categories as described in the purpose of the study.
Currently, college students only receive 6-6.9 hours of sleep on average per night (University Health Center, 2019). Seven or more hours of sleep a night has been recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society to avoid the health risks shown to be associated with chronic inadequate sleep (AASM, 2017). Lack of sleep showed an increased risk of experiencing mental health symptoms by more than 20% on average (AASM, 2019). Without enough sleep, executive function, academics, work, and daily life is impaired (National Sleep Foundation, 2019). Sleep also plays a vital role in the recovery process in student-athletes as exercise depletes energy, fluids, and breaks down muscle (National Sleep Foundation, 2019). Chen found students who suffered sleeplessness during their senior year were 40% less likely to graduate, and those sleep deprived their freshman and senior year were 25% less likely to graduate (Chen, 2019). Similarly, Heijden found greater chronic sleep reduction and worse sleep quality were significant in the association with worse academic achievement and study concentration (Heijden, 2017). Another study found that sleeping patterns that slept twice every 24 hours, rather than sleeping once throughout the night or taking multiple naps throughout the day, showed an increased pass percentage (87%) during midterms (Saeed, 2015). Slutsky found that sleep deprivation negatively affected simple tasks and decreased brain activity (Slutsky, 2017). In another study, athletes were found to be poor sleepers with mean PSQI scores of 5.38 ± 2.45, which affected their daily routines and activities (Mah, 2018). Schwartz found an increase in tennis serving accuracy after a week of sleep extension (41.8%) vs. during a week of sleep deprivation (35.7%) (Schwartz, 2015). A review found collegiate basketball players following sleep extension, had an increase in scoring during free-throw shots (9%) and 3-point field goals (9.2%). However, one night of sleep deprivation did not significantly affect collegiate weightlifters lifting performance (Watson, 2017). A study found poor sleep was significantly associated with increased suicide risks (Becker, 2018). Another study found global sleep quality (39% in externalizing problems), nighttime sleep disruptions (45% in somatic problems), and sleep latency (37% in anxiety problems) all had significant effects on mental health greatly related to symptoms of psychological distress (Milojevich, 2016). Similarly, Becker found anxiety (significance of 46%), depression (significance of 64%), and ADHD uniquely associated with poor sleep status (Becker, 2018). Zhang found that poor sleep quality was closely associated with depressive symptoms, and that coping styles were able to reduce the strength of this association (Zhang, 2018).
Madison, CeCe, "The Effects of Sleep Deprivation Among College Students" (2019). Health, Leisure, and Sport Sciences Undergraduate Work. 1.