Psychology: Sleep and Test Scores Essay

Submitted By fmquero
Words: 1890
Pages: 8

Sleep is one of the most important things every individual does each day. By sleeping, it allows the body to rest and to replenish itself. But as humans age, they get busier each day and their amount of sleep each night lessens. This is especially true for many teenagers while going through adolescence. Teenagers are constantly and frantically doing whatever they can to balance their transformation; from childhood to adulthood, on a day to day basis. During this period in life, adolescent teens struggle to balance many things, especially with school and the stress that is developed from it. School is one of the most important parts of an adolescent teen’s life. According to research done by Peg Dawson, a psychologist in the Seacoast Mental Health Center, “between 15% and 30% of all children may have a sleep disturbance at some point during childhood, and some estimates indicate that between 33% and 75% of all adolescents have sleep problems” (Dawson, Peg). Lives of many teenagers’ revolves around education generating stress and forcing teenagers to muddle through school work and studies, working hard to excel in schoolwork while still trying to find time to relax at the end of the day. However many teenagers end up staying up late studying or entertaining a social life, through hanging out with friend or using electronic media such as computers, TVs, and cell phones. These result to sleep getting put off night after night and the amount of sleep debt increases, this is because “the pattern and timing of melatonin secretion makes it hard for adolescents to fall asleep and wake up at the times necessary to get enough restful sleep.” (Dawson, Peg). This vicious cycle is detrimental not only to the teenagers’ health but also to their performance in and out of school. This is where many school administrators do not realize how the lack of sleep impacts all adolescent teenagers. Administrators spend lots of money and stress for their students when their students lack or greatly fail in school assessments or sleep. School executives are doing whatever they can to improve their students school performance and test scores, but sometimes, the smallest changes can make a big difference. School administrators need to direct their attention to the fact that school times must be set to a later time because large numbers of adolescent teenagers are lacking in sleep, with this it correlates to the development of their stress and behavioral problems, poor academic performance, and leads to short and long term chronic disorders if it continues.

From the lack of sleep, teenagers struggle to be able to control their emotions during the school day. This then leads to unstable and impaired academic performance, highly unpredictable moods, which are likely to increase irritability, impatience, and low tolerance for frustration. (Dawson, Peg). School administrators do not realize that by continuing early start times, students are more vulnerable to have “higher daytime sleepiness, increased use of psychoactive substances, sleep disturbances, later bedtimes and lowered mood” (Peters, Kathleen). Many researchers have done studies to show the effects of school performances based on the amount of sleep teenagers get. For example, a survey was done to a large number of growing teenagers based on their amount of sleep and sleep deprivation by researchers from Boston College. In this study, the researchers discovered that the United States is known to “have the highest number of sleep-deprived students, where 73% of 9 and 10-year-olds and 80% of 13 and 14-year-olds identified by their teachers as being adversely affected. In literacy tests there were 76% of 9 and 10-year-olds lacking sleep. This was much higher than the international average of 47% of primary pupils needing more sleep and 57% among the secondary age group” (Coughlan, Sean). The significance of this study was based on how the lack of sleep greatly affects the students through their