Effects of Sleep Deprivation on College Students a speech Outline Introduction Attention getting material

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Ruth Osigwe Informative Speech Outline Sleep Deprivation

Effects of Sleep Deprivation on College Students

A Speech Outline


Attention getting material

  • 40% of Americans (100 million people) are moderately to severely sleep-deprived!
    College students are among the most sleep deprived people in our population. 60% are sleepy during the day and 30% fall asleep in class at least once a week...* The National Sleep Foundation states that adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. (National Sleep Foundation, 2005).

Sleep and college life often seem mutually exclusive. All-night study sessions, stress, socializing and the freedom to choose when to sleep; all work together to disrupt sleep in college.


  • Sleep and college life often seem mutually exclusive. All-night study sessions, stress, socializing and the freedom to choose when to sleep; all work together to disrupt sleep in college.

  • According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2005 Sleep in America poll, 60% of adult drivers – about 168 million people – say they have driven a vehicle while feeling drowsy in the past year, and more than one-third, (37% or 103 million people), have actually fallen asleep at the wheel! (National Sleep Foundation, 2005).

  • This information is especially relevant at this time as we approach the final exams period, when students usually stay up all night to study. If students knew the academic and health risks involved in sleep deprivation, it will help them plan their study time better. According to the Journal of American College Health, when students try to play “catch up” on the weekends by sleeping more, it messes up the circadian rhythm of the body. This is a 24-hour cycle that is important in determining the sleeping and eating patterns of all animals, including human beings. ( Trockel, Barnes, & Egget, 2000).


This information is well researched, from reputable sources such as: National Sleep Foundation, Journal of American College Health, American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Journal of Sleep Research; to name just a few.


Students and sleep seem to have an antagonistic relationship. Disruptions in sleep and college life often go together due a combination of stress, coursework and social activities

This speech will give the students useful information about the dangers of not getting enough sleep and also some useful tips on how to get a good night sleep.


  1. Effects on memory and academics

  2. Health effects of sleep deprivation

  3. Suggestions on how to get enough sleep


Effects on memory and academics

  • According to a study published in the Journal of Sleep Research 1994, both deep sleep and Rapid Eye Movement (REM), or dreams sleep, are required for learning. Selective REM sleep deprivation (REMD) in college students results in memory impairment (Smith, & Macneill 1994). another study also found that sleep deprivation increases the occurrence of memory lapses, periods of lowered reactive capacity, which prevent the encoding of items in short-term memory

  • Lack of sleep affects daily activities: Sleep statistics concerning sleep and college are grim. A survey at Texas A&M University found that only 7 percent of students reported feeling rested after sleep, and 26 percent experienced academic difficulties due to sleep problems. (Texas A & M University, 2008).

  • The Journal of American College Health reported that students who don’t get enough sleep each night experience negative effects on academic performance, including exams.
    Other researchers who have studied the subject of sleep among students say that pulling all-night study sessions can affect students’ GPA ( Trockel, Barnes, & Egget, 2000; Central Michigan University, 2008)

Transition sentence

A "sleep is for wimps" mindset also contributes to problems with sleep and college students. Reliance on coffee, energy drinks and over-the-counter "alertness" pills further interferes with students and sleep patterns. Some of the common effects of sleep deprivation on health as pointed out by experts are;

Health Effects

  • Hand tremors

  • Headaches

  • Age more rapidly

  • Weakened immune system; Be more susceptible to colds, flu, and other infections

  • Display an increased risk of accidents due to sleepiness and poor coordination

  • Experience more emotional problems, including depression and anxiety

  • Feel irritable and experience mood swing

  • Have reduced ability to deal with stress

  • Increased blood pressure

  • Aching muscles

  • Increased risk of fibromyalgia

  • Increase your risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and death

Transition Statement

. Sleep doctors and sleep experts recommend a variety of measures to help adults and children achieve adequate sleep. In general, all of these approaches are intended to help with relaxation as the desired sleep time approaches, to maintain a comfortable sleep environment, and to encourage a healthful balance of nutrition and exercise. (Epstein, & Mardon, 2007; American Academy of Sleep Medicine,2008; National Sleep Foundation, 2005).

Their recommendations include:

  • maintaining a regular sleep-wake schedule

  • avoiding caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and other chemicals that interfere with sleep

  • making your bedroom a comfortable sleep environment

  • establishing a calming pre-sleep routine

  • going to sleep when you're truly tired

  • not watching the clock at night

  • using light to your advantage by exposing yourself to light during the day and limiting

light exposure in the evening

  • not napping too close to your regular bedtime

  • eating and drinking enough—but not too much or too soon before bedtime

  • exercising regularly—but not too soon before bedtime

  • Avoid all-nighter study sessions or parties.

  • Avoid late night or early morning classes

Transition Sentence

  • Restful sleep and college life can coexist If students remmember that:


Sleep deprivation is not only dangerous to the sleep deprived but also to the general public. A Not getting enough sleep is associated with impaired attention, school performance, some very serious health problems such as and can also lead to driving accidents as people fall asleep behind the wheel of their cars. Students who are looking for a good night sleep should remember whatt the esperts say and ;

  • Avoid mixing caffeine, alcohol and sleep.

  • Avoid all-nighter study sessions or parties.

  • Avoid late night or early morning classes.

  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule.

  • Use "white noise" to muffle sounds

Concluding device

Any questions?


American Academy of Sleep Medicine (2008). High School Students With A Delayed School

Start Time Sleep Longer, Report Less Daytime Sleepiness. Retrieved from


Central Michigan University (2008). College student sleep patterns could be detrimental.

Retrieved October 25, 2010, from


Epstein, L. & Mardon, S., (2007). The Harvard Medical School Guide to a Good Night’s

Sleep, McGraw Hill Books.

Kahn-Greenea, E.T., Killgorea, D. B., Kamimori, G. H., Balkin, T.J., & Killgore, D.S., (2006).

The effects of sleep deprivation on symptoms of psychopathology in healthy adults.

Sleep Medicine: 3 (8) 215-221. doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2006.08.007

Trockel, M. T., Barnes, M. D., & Egget, D. L., ( 2000 ). Health-Related Variables

and Academic Performance Among First-Year College Students: Implications for Sleep and

Other Behaviors. Journal of American College Health. (49) 125-131.


National Sleep Foundation. (2005). 2005 sleep in America poll. Retrieved from


Pilcher, J.J., & Walters, A.S., (1997). How Sleep Deprivation Affects Psychological

Variables Related to College Students' Cognitive Performance. Journal of American

College Health, (46) 121 - 126 doi: 10.1080/07448489709595597

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