Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Students

Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Students

Did you know that it’s estimated that the average student loses 2-3 hours of sleep every night? This can result in daytime sleepiness, poor academic performance, and even weight gain. But what do these have to do with each other? Quite a lot actually! In this article, we’ll take a look at the effects of sleep deprivation on students and see if there are some easy solutions to combat this issue.

Sleep deprivation can have some serious effects on students, including lowered grades and poor performance in school-related tasks, such as tests and classwork. If you’re not getting enough sleep at night, you might be surprised by how much it affects your life throughout the day, and it could even affect your health as well as your relationships with friends and family members. This blog post will discuss some of the negative effects of sleep deprivation on students and how you can combat them if they’re affecting you right now.

Difficulty Concentrating

Prolonged periods of lack of sleep or insomnia can cause a student to have impaired memory, lower attention span, and difficulty concentrating. Sleep deprivation has been linked to an increase in the risk for depression and anxiety disorders. For example, one study found that after just two nights without sleep, test subjects were significantly more emotional, had more difficulty focusing, and took longer to react to emotional stimuli. When comparing those who slept with those who did not within the same experiment participants were less productive when staying awake; they also committed more errors when completing a variety of tasks and tended to make decisions that are riskier in nature.

Sleep is not just beneficial for our mind but our bodies as well; this is why children need 10-12 hours per night whereas adults need at least 8 hours.


Sleep-deprived students can become moody and are often unable to focus. Sleep is vital for good concentration, so this not only impacts their academic grades but also how they interact with others. Making up for lost sleep by sleeping late the following day is inefficient because this delays the opportunity to get adequate rest. Plus, it disrupts circadian rhythms and makes it more difficult to go back to school or work in the morning when we have something to do early in the day. Moreover, even if we can delay bedtime and fall asleep later than usual, once we wake up, our body will still be geared towards that original time instead of whatever time it actually is now. This means that if we have an assignment due at 8 a.m., waking up at 5 a.m.

Lack of Motivation

Students who are not getting enough sleep in order to be alert and present during their classes or working day will be impacted with things like lack of motivation, trouble concentrating, mood swings, and general mental weariness. Sleep is just as important as a healthy diet when it comes to functioning at one’s best in daily life. The body needs both food and rest to function properly, especially while learning. If a student cannot stay focused due to a poor night’s sleep, they may have to take time off from school until they can get more rest. Another option for struggling students is changing up their study habits by reading more before bedtime and spending less time watching TV or using electronics before going to bed (though this may not always work).

Memory Problems

Sleep deprived individuals often struggle with forming memories. For example, if a student does not get enough sleep during a study session, the following day they may not remember anything that was studied. To combat this effect of sleep deprivation, try to maintain an equal amount of time for each session and make sure to review material from earlier sessions. Another thing to keep in mind is it’s natural for people who do not have enough shut-eye to lose focus more easily. One way that students can counteract this problem is by using sticky notes to take quick notes during lectures or write important reminders on their notebooks in order to maintain the amount of focus they need while maintaining good grades!

It’s best for students to ensure that they are getting adequate amounts of sleep because long term effects can be detrimental. Students who don’t get enough rest find themselves at increased risk for having poor mental health due to issues like anxiety and depression as well as lowered cognitive function which lowers their performance in class and subsequently lowers their GPA overall. Long term effects also mean there is decreased brain development since teens require around 10 hours of sleep nightly and most aren’t achieving those amounts due to things like classes, after school sports practices, part-time jobs, social lives, etc.

Visual & Auditory Changes

A person’s eyes take longer to focus and adjust to changes in light. They also have difficulty judging distance. One might see another person as either too close or too far away. This can also cause a distortion in perception where the person sees things that are not there, or cannot see something that is actually there. Difficulty hearing is one of the other effects of sleep deprivation. A persons speech patterns may become incoherent and hard to understand. As sound travels through the air, it bounces off objects and lands somewhere else after it makes contact with the object (the listener). In a well-rested state, people naturally pick up this reverb in conversation when speaking because their senses are functioning properly. Without enough sleep, this natural process is impaired and it becomes difficult for someone to hear what someone else says because the audio from our voice doesn’t reach them before bouncing back into our ears.

The sixth sense can be affected by lack of sleep. People who are deprived of adequate rest will experience hallucinations and delusions which affect how they perceive reality. Hallucinations typically occur during REM cycles while dreaming, but without enough REM cycles at night, hallucinations will manifest themselves more often throughout the day

Trouble Performing Complex Tasks

However, lack of sleep can lead to other complications that disrupt a student’s learning. For example, impaired problem solving and poor decision-making are reported by people who don’t get enough sleep (Samet 2002). Difficulty concentrating and the inability to follow lectures have also been reported by study participants (Li et al., 2007). Researchers also found that sleeping less than seven hours each night might raise levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker for inflammation associated with chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and kidney disease (Samet 2002). CRP is produced when body tissues are injured or inflamed, so CRP levels could be higher in those who don’t sleep enough because they’re more likely to suffer from injury or infection. Furthermore, we know that low-quality sleep is associated with insulin resistance and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes (Li et al., 2007).


Sleep is essential for the body to repair and rejuvenate itself, and many studies have shown the impact it has on one’s health. Without a proper amount of sleep, an individual may experience extreme drowsiness throughout the day, as well as develop mood swings and irritability that can cause problems with work performance or interpersonal relationships. This problem will only worsen if left untreated. It is very important for individuals to try to attain at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night in order to maintain their overall well-being. There are some things they can do to help themselves fall asleep faster like taking a warm bath before bedtime, reading before bedtime, not consuming any caffeine after noon time, staying away from electronic devices before bedtime (especially TVs), and not exercising too close to bedtime. If these techniques don’t seem to be working then they should consult their doctor who might prescribe them something like Ambien which is a prescription drug used for treating insomnia. If all else fails then they might need therapy or another type of intervention because lack of sleep can lead to serious mental health issues such as depression or bipolar disorder.