Free «Adolescent Sleeping Patterns and Their Influence on the Academic Performance» Essay Sample

Adolescent Sleeping Patterns and Their Influence on the Academic Performance

As it is known, sleeping is an essential activity that is highly important for maintaining adequate physical and mental conditions since humans cannot function normally without a sufficient amount of sleep. In this regard, scholars emphasize, “People need to understand the role of sleep and have to take adequate sleep of 6-8 hours per day for health and wellbeing” (Siraj et al., 2014, p. 52). In addition, the quality of sleep matters. For instance, the intake of various stimulators such as coffee, nicotine, or drugs, for example, may significantly worsen the quality of sleep. Moreover, the outer conditions, including bedding, light, and sounds are crucial. Furthermore, it is presumed that one’s sleeping patterns (the time of going to bed and waking up, middle day naps, awakening during the night) are strongly related to the quality of sleep. In this respect, one should comprehend that adolescents are more affected because they experience rapid physical, emotional, and mental changes that require more energy. Consequently, it is natural to hypothesize that sleeping patterns of teenagers and young adults significantly influence their health and well-being, including academic performance that is one of the major daily activities.

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Purpose of the Study

Considering the stated research question, this study aims to assess the influence of adolescents’ sleeping patterns on their physical and mental health. Specifically, it is necessary to identify the indicators of bad or insufficient sleep. Besides, one should explore whether and to what extent malevolent sleeping patterns correlate with the development of chronic illnesses. Moreover, it is possible to assume that the quality of sleep is deteriorated by some external factors, such as stresses and anxiety that are provoked by quarrels with the dear ones, broken relations, financial concerns, and fears connected with the academic or job excellence. In overall, the purpose of this study is to research the considerations stated above in order to detect their interrelation, if any. This approach should provide a better understanding of the mechanisms that are linked to the quality of sleep and its influence on the students’ mental and physical performance.

Methods and Materials

The type of the study is exploratory research. The success of exploration depends on the validity of sources that are to be examined in order to retrieve and discuss the needed information. Therefore, the choice of sample is crucial. To assure that the investigated data are valid and up-today, the sample consists of recent peer-reviewed sources. Moreover, the amount of sample should be sufficient for verifying the stated hypothesis and its objectives. This paper is based on nine credible references, which provide enough information for investigating the researched question.

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Results and Discussion

The Negative Implications of Insufficient Sleeping

To begin with, it is necessary to clarify that while the quality of sleep correlates with the physical and cognitive performance, many scholars believe that the duration of sleep is not connected with the reduced or increased academic performance (Kazim & Abrar, 2011). In contrast, their opponents emphasize, “As the amount of sleep a person gets per night decreases, the person’s ability to learn implicitly also decreases” (Williams & Aderanti, 2014, p. 658). This supposition is proven to be correct by another group of scientists. Specifically, Siraj et al. (2014) identified that those students who slept more than six hours per day demonstrated “significantly higher academic performance” (p. 52).

Apart from studying activities, the maintenance of inadequate sleep patterns may cause sleep-related health complications. The scientists claim that the poor quality of sleep contributes to the development of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (Zeek et al., 2015). In addition, considering a strong connection between mental functioning and sufficient sleep, sleep loss is “a possible risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease” (Gikunda, Abura, Kiriungi, & Muchiri, 2014, p. 113). These issues are only some of adverse implications of the reduced duration and quality of sleep. The arguments revealed above serve to prove the negative impact of reduced sleep on a human being, particularly, in terms of the students’ academic excellence. The counterarguments, which advocate the absence of a positive connection between the sleep quality and quantity and one’s health and well-being, are presented in the appropriate section.

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Neutral Connection between Sleep Patterns and the Students’ Academic Performance

In investigating the connection between sleeping patterns and academic performance of adolescents and young adults, some scientists deduce that there is no strong link between these variables. For instance, when exploring the influence of the external stimuli on students’ sleep, scholars conclude that sleeping patterns change in accordance with one’s daily tasks and schedule. In particular, approaching exams require more time for studying; this situation results in the reduced sleep hours (Ali, Majeed, Saba, Bodenarain, & Bukhari, 2013). Hence, the presumed deterioration of the academic excellence is not detected in spite of the significant sleep loss and alteration of common sleeping habits. Moreover, some students report that the increased anxiety, which is triggered by approaching exams, is the reason for insomnia. Thus, they have to take medicines in order to make themselves go to sleep (Ali et al., 2013). Nevertheless, the described challenging situation that affects sleeping quality and amount is found to be unrelated to the grades that the interviewed students get.

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These findings resonate with another similar research. Consider the case, Kazim and Abrar (2011) report, “The majority of the students had reduced sleep in exam days and its reason was found to be studying late and no firm relationship was found between sleep at night before paper and academic performance” (p. 57). By scrutinizing the obtained information, it is possible to presume that in order to cause a significant negative influence on one’s mental and physical health, the malevolent sleeping patterns and conjunctive adverse factors should affect people for a certain period of time. In other words, the standalone reduction of the quality and quantity of sleep does not lead to any noticeable negative implications; meanwhile, when this tendency is lasting, its impact becomes more devastating.

Simultaneously, researchers identified, “Adequate sleep the night prior to an examination was positively associated with student course grades and semester GPAs” (Zeek et al., 2015, p. 1). Despite being seemingly contrasting to the findings revealed above, this information is not in conflict with the discussed data. Consider the rationale, the plausible connection between healthy and sufficient sleep and good academic performance does not mean that the lack of sleep causes the decline of the academic excellence. In other words, groups of students, who sleep well a night before an exam and those who do not have enough sleep may receive high or low grades regardless of sleep patterns but depending on their work during a semester.

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In such a manner, one can rightfully deduce that sleeping patterns do not have any significant short-run negative implications that affect the health and well-being of teenagers and young adults. Consequently, the quality and amount of sleep do not have an immediate influence on the students’ academic performance. At the same time, in a medium and long-run perspective, sleep loss and related malevolent sleeping habits contribute to the development of physical and mental illnesses and cause an adverse impact on studying. The negative reactions of the deteriorated quality and quantity of sleep can be reinforced by particular environmental factors. These elements are discussed in detail in the below section.

Environmental Factors that Influence Adolescents’ Sleeping Patterns

The major environmental factors that decrease the quality of sleep are related to the Internet addiction. Specifically, teenagers and young adults tend to overuse social media and conduct much more web surfing than necessary. These activities have a number of negative implications that are connected with the formation of the troublesome sleeping patterns. For instance, being Internet addicted requires much time; as a result, sleeping hours are reduced.

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Besides, continuous texting hinders the natural process of falling asleep, as well as tends to keep students awake during the night hours. Scholars inform, “Electronic media use 30min before bed [is] negatively associated with academic performance via the mediated pathway, by negatively affecting adolescent sleep” (Dimitriou, Knight, & Milton, 2015, p. 7). The mediated impact means that the sleep interruption is adverse and, thus, it deteriorates the quality of sleep. Consequently, one’s body and mind do not have enough time to rest and restore their vital functions. As a result, the academic performance of students that suffer from the Internet overuse reduces.

While estimating the negative impact of using electronic devices for communication, teachers believe that “when we go against that natural rhythm, students become less efficient” (Verbanas, 2016). The corresponding statistics states, “Children ages 8 to 18 use electronic devices approximately seven-and-a-half hours daily” (Verbanas, 2016). Comprehending that it means 1/3 of the day, one can rightfully deduce that it is the time without or with a limited supervision of adults; in other words, electronic devices are utilized more often during the night hours. In this respect, scholars accentuate that any online interactions with the switched-off lights negatively affect students’ vision and general mental functions; these issues are directly related to the decreased studying capacity. Given this insight, one should emphasize that the Internet addiction is a serious environmental challenge that violates normal and healthy sleeping patterns.

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In addition, the excessive use of social media at the expense of the sleeping time has another significant mediated effect on the young psyche, particularly; it becomes the source of stress and anxiety. Consider the rationale; it is detected that adolescents and young adults experience a great frustration because of conflicts with their family and peers; this variable is positively related to the violation of their sleep patterns (Gikunda et al., 2014). By taking into account this insight, one may presume that a lot of adverse interactions occur via social media. Furthermore, students’ sleepiness and tiredness can become the factors that either cause or intensify conflicts. It means that midnight texting or flipping through acquaintances’ accounts often leads to the emergence of some negative mental and emotional conditions that prevent normal sleeping.

The outcome of the reduced sleeping is devastating. In particular, scholars believe that “cutting just one hour of sleep drops mental alertness by one-third” (Gikunda et al., 2014, p. 114). Moreover, the lack of sleep contributes to the development of many adverse reactions. For instance, insufficient sleeping is connected with “excessive sleepiness almost every day, tiredness upon waking, and excessive sleepiness during study time and class time” (Zeek et al., 2015, p. 5). Undoubtedly, if experiencing the above-mentioned reactions, students cannot maintain their best possible level of academic performance.

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What makes the things even worse is that the decreased mental and physical activity may lead to car or home accidents, which will inevitably have a mediated negative effect on studying. In this respect, according to scholars, “The lack of sleep in general can also lead to impairment on daytime performance, for instance falling asleep in class, lacking energy, and inattentiveness” (Williams &Aderanti, 2014, p. 659). Therefore, it is natural to deduce that the Internet addiction and supporting mental conditions impact the academic performance and, in general, have a strong negative influence on the health and well-being of teenagers and young adults.

Nevertheless, many young people do not acknowledge that their excessive online presence is harmful. In order to understand this phenomenon, scholars, Dimitriou, Knight, and Milton (2015), conducted a corresponding research and interviewed students with the purpose to study their awareness about the issues related to the Internet addiction. The findings suggest, “The objective deterioration in cognitive function is not partnered with a subjective awareness of the decline” (Dimitriou, Knight, & Milton, 2015, p. 2). Simply put, teenagers and young adults vaguely realize the negative implication of the sleep reduction (Dimitriou, Knight, & Milton, 2015). The lack of awareness implies poor motivation to limit the use of social media during night hours.











Moreover, this lack of awareness correlates with the consumption of brain stimulants and some substance abuse. Consider the rationale; to change the natural flow of the day and night, students need to take “antibiotics, analgesics and other drugs” (Kazim & Abrar, 2011, p. 59). This use of substances is supposed to help them overcome sleepiness in order to continue studying or conducting some other activities. As a result, the violation of the natural biological rhythms has a strong adverse effect on the adolescents’ mental health and cognitive capability. For instance, meanwhile coffee is known to have a short-run invigorating effect, in a medium run, it is reported to enhance the “sleeplessness and nocturnal worry” (Kazim & Abrar, 2011, p. 59). Besides, staying awakened at night is often achieved by the use substances, which can lead to addiction.

The connection between students’ sleep patterns and the use of drugs and other brain stimulators is obvious. The interdependence of these tendencies (sleep loss and substance use) deteriorates the physical and mental health of the youth. Consider an example; scholars emphasize that students report the absence of harmful habits, in particular, smoking, as one of the important factors that contribute to the academic success (BaHammam, Alaseem, Alzakri, Almeneessier, & Sharif, 2012). Another critical condition is going to bed early; whereas, late time of going to sleep is believed to have a negative effect on students’ cognitive capacities (BaHammam et al., 2012). Despite being subjective, the retrieved self-evaluation is taken by scholars as a valid indicator that reflects the connection between the substance use and sleep loss, which are the two main factors that deteriorate the academic excellence.

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In summing up the above-mentioned, one should stress that sleep patterns of teenagers and young adults may affect their physical and cognitive productivity including the studying capacity. It is necessary to clarify that benevolent sleeping habits (those that assure the complete restoration of vital body functions) are related to the good academic performance, but the identified links are mediated. Simultaneously, it is reported that malevolent sleeping patterns do not cause any serious health issues in a short-run perspective. This finding contrasts with the premises of many scholars that believe in a considerable instant impact of the sleep loss. The current point can be partly explained by coping behavior: students, who stay awakened at night, tend to sleep longer during weekends and take naps at noon. Hence, the mediated and long-run influence of the reduced quality and amount of sleep is positively related to the deterioration of the students’ mental and physical health, which inevitably affects their studying. In addition, it is appropriate to mention that the use of stimulators and drug abuse positively correlates with staying awake during night hours. Moreover, another environmental factor that impacts sleep patterns of teenagers and young adults is the use of electronic devices for the daily communication. These factors increase stress and anxiety; in line, the alarmed mental conditions cause insomnia that requires more drugs. Therefore, it is possible to conclude that these factors are interdependent and reinforce the negative action of each other.

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