Effects of Sleep on Academic Performance

Introduction

Sleep and leisure in general have great influence on the performance and achievement of students, both in class and in their future careers. In America, children at the age bracket of 2-17 years are waking up earlier to go to school and their performance is usually affected by the amount of sleep they get wrote Van Dongen, Vitellaro and Dinges (2005). Studies and observations have shown that many students sleep less than it is recommended. The impact of sleeping of a student and his academic achievement especially in areas such as academic skills does not depend on the duration spent in bed but also on the conditions under which the students slept argued Siegel (2003).

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There, however, exists differing opinions also on this issue. Some scholars have agued that although on some occasions, children who have had good sleep are found to perform better than their counterparts with poor sleeping patterns under which sleep plays an important role. To put this in a more clear term, according to many researchers on this issue, children who sleep fewer hours’s underperformance at school level compared to those who have had good sleep argues Ferrara and De Gennaro (2001).

This is due to the recognizable advantages of sleeping as has been affirmed by many researches. Research has shown that increased academic performance of students can be easily achieved if the student has had good sleep. According to Bickel and Howley (2000) Children from poor background where enough sleep is a nightmare are more likely to report poor grades or grades significantly below their potential than children from well do families. Poor academic performance due to poor sleep is usually accelerated by other factors such as the psychological distress, lack of adequate economic resources to help children in their studies and lack of parental guidance in academics wrote Meijer, Habekothe and Van Den Wittenboer (2000).

There are some reasons that lack of proper sleep among students a bad behavior. This will result in;

Poor class attendance: – According to Cluydts, De Valck, Verstraeten and Theys (2002) One thing that has been observed by the lecturer’s fraternity is that the students who do not have proper sleep, more often have a poor class attendance. This is because they fatigued and attending class becomes the last thing to do. According to Sadeh, Gruber and Raviv (2002) when this habit continues over and over during the semester the student’s performance drops and eventually the student is forced to either drop-out or repeat the academic year. Another consequence could be a student’s reputation gets tarnished if sleeps in class especially among the lecturers and if the student is on scholarship he/she can lose the scholarship. A lot of guardians have felt that the school fees that the parents pay has been wasted, since the student is not attending class and has poor academic performance but they forget their involvement in the problem adds Curcioa, Ferraraa and De Gennaroa (2006).

College drop-out: – some of the students have been forced to drop-out because of poor grade or just losing track on why the students are in college in the first place argues Van Dongen, Baynard, Maislin and Dinges (2004).

Purpose of the study

The study intends to conduct a quantitative descriptive research on effect of sleep on students’ academic performance in school. I intend to compare the findings of previous literature on the topic.

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Goals of the study

This study aims to assess the impact of sleep on academic performance. The study will:

  • Enhance knowledge and understanding about impact of sleep on academic performance
  • Identify and discuss factors that lead to poor academic performance apart from sleep.
  • Increase an understanding of the influences that sleep can have in the education system and economic growth of a country.
  • Improve public awareness about importance of sleep among students
  • Recommend interventions designed to decrease the occurrence of poor sleeping pattern among school going children.
  • Complement existing bodies of research on impact of sleep on academic performance among students.

Research methodology

The purpose research is to ascertain the impact of sleep on academic performance among students. The methods of research used in conducting the research of this paper are mostly through the internet. Online libraries, online books, and articles were consulted for gathering the required and essential information. These days everything is done via internet, from the transactions of businesses to the imparting of education. The internet is the most commonly sought and easiest method of accessing latest possible information these days. Gone are the days when people went around looking for good libraries in city centres, and searching for the books of their interests for carrying out researches. This is the 21st century, and digital media is the latest technology being used for researching.

The greatest advantage of using the internet to access information is that it possesses ample amount of information al at once, and there is no physical hassle involved in searching matter. Rather, everything is easily accessible all at the same place, and there is no fatigue after writing papers. All the material required by an individual, regarding any subject whatsoever, can be obtained from the internet. And all of it is authentic. There are also some trash websites which do not contain authentic information, but if one knows of such cites to avoid, then a problem does not arise. This is why the only source picked for this paper was also the internet, and its various offerings and sources of information.

According to Noaks and Wincup (2004:131). Coding that was used was divided into three types: reflective, axial and open coding. Open coding essentially ‘opens’ the question and in that manner searches for answers. Axial coding occurs as the second step whereby the open code is analyzed for linkages between themes and images adds Noaks and Wincup (2004: 131). Reflection occurs through the interpretation of the said data and the placing of it within the context of the question that was asked. The reflective process identifies the most important and major themes that the respondents have subconsciously identified.

Constant comparison is used in qualitative research along with the above codes in order to compare the new data with already present and conducted research data wrote Cohen et al (2007: 493). This is extremely important as it keeps the researcher on track and does not encourage the digression from the localized themes apparent in the research. The most important aspect of constant comparison is to help draw a theory from the research. As an inductive method, this is important in order to determine what it is that you are comparing wrote Cohen et al (2007: 493). The constant comparison is the process whereby constant comparisons between data are made until no variations occur argues Cohen et al (2007: 493).

Scope of the study

The scope of the study follows a literature review on sleep impact on academic performance among students. The researcher will manage the entire scope of processes from initial stage of identifying the problem to final stage of report writing on the topic.

References

Bickel, R, & Howley, C 2000, ‘The influence of scale on school performance: a multi-level extension of the Matthew Principle’, Ed Policy Analysis Arch.

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Cluydts, R, De Valck, E, Verstraeten E, & Theys, P 2002, ‘Daytime sleepiness and its evaluation’ Sleep Med Rev.

Cohen, Louis et al. 2007, Research Methods in Education, Routledge: Taylor Francis Grp.

Curcioa, G, Ferraraa, M, & De Gennaroa, L 2006, ‘Sleep loss, learning capacity and academic performance’ Sleep Medicine Reviews 10, 323–337

Ferrara, M, & De Gennaro, L 2001, ‘How much sleep do we need?’, Sleep Medicine Reviews, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp 155–179.

Meijer, A,M, Habekothe H,T, & Van Den Wittenboer G, ‘Time in bed, quality of sleep and school functioning of children’, J Sleep Res 2000; 9: 145-153.

Sadeh, A, Gruber, R, & Raviv A 2002, ‘Sleep, neurobehavioral functioning, and behavioral problems in school-age children’ Child Dev; 73:405-417.

Siegel, J. ‘Why we sleep’ Sci Am 2003; 289:92-7.

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Van Dongen, H, Vitellaro, K, & Dinges, D 2005, ‘Individual Differences in Adult Human Sleep and Wakefulness: Leitmotif for a Research Agenda’, sleep vol.28 no.4

Van Dongen, H, Baynard, M, Maislin, G, & Dinges, D., 2004 ‘Sleep, sleep restriction, and performance, Sleep, Systematic Inter individual Differences in Neurobehavioral Impairment from Sleep Loss: Evidence of Trait-Like Differential Vulnerability’, SLEEP, Vol. 27, No. 3,

Wolfson, A. & Carskadon, M 2003, ‘Understanding adolescents’ sleep patterns and school performance: a critical appraisal’ Sleep Medicine Reviews, Vol. 7, No. 6, pp 491-506.

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