A Lack of Sleep & the Effect on a College Student's Life


College students live a life that promotes lack of sleep. They stay up all night cramming for exams and tests, or celebrate their new found freedom by staying up all night partying. While it may appear that college-aged youths need less sleep because of their youth, this is not the case. Students have new schedules and classes to which they need to adjust, and they need enough sleep to handle their daily activities efficiently.


  • Students who get the proper amount of sleep are able to solve problems and apply reasoning to difficult concepts because sleep allows the brain to function at its optimal level. Lack of sleep often results in a lower grade point average. Students are less alert, less able to concentrate and less likely to retain what they learned. As a result, they get poorer grades on assignments and tests. Those who stay up too late also have trouble waking up on time in the morning. This results in poor attendance, which causes them to miss crucial information that directly affects their grades.


  • Students who participate in sports require the proper amount of sleep to perform well during the game. Sleep deprivation causes lack of judgment and poor reflexes. Athletes need to be alert and able to focus on all the different aspects of the game. They need quick reaction time, but lack of sleep reduces both speed and efficiency. Poor performance can result in game-related injuries to the student or injury to other team members.

Mental and Physical Health

  • One of the benefits of getting enough rest is an improvement in mood. Students who fail to get enough sleep are more prone to be sad, stressed out, depressed, angry or mentally exhausted. They may have more emotional problems than those who get the appropriate amount of sleep. Lack of sleep weakens the immune system and increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes. Adequate sleep replenishes the body’s energy supply, which promotes overall health.


  • Lack of sleep causes a shorter attention span and lack of focus. This affects the ability of students to pay attention in class or while doing their homework. It even affects their driving, which can be very dangerous. According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, over 100,000 accidents are caused by those who are tired. Students under 25 make up a large part of that number.

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