Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Why is Sleep so Important?

Haven’t you always wondered why we feel terrible when we are tired? Well, two research studies have explored this phenomenon in college students. When we are sleep-deprived, everything we encounter is seen through a negative lens, and the positive lens we see out of is fuzzy.  Meaning, we are more attentive to the negative, for example a pile of dirty dishes, especially when we are tired, rather than focusing on the positive stimuli surrounding us.   

       In the study, two groups of college students completed a series of tests to assess their emotional responses to negative and positive pictures.  These pictures were mostly screenshots from the nightly news.  The students completed the tests at various time points throughout a night of simulated shift work.  One group completed the tests at various time points after getting 5 hours of sleep and another group of students did the same after staying awake for more than 24 hours.  As the night continued, the students’ emotional response to the photographs dulled and the positive stimuli started to have a lesser effect. 
Overall, when we are tired we are unable to recognize emotions and our negative emotions are more readily recognized than positive ones.  Along with this, studies have shown that there is a decreased subjective rating of happiness and sleep deprivation can impair our social interaction and learning because of perception fatigue.
It is extremely difficult to fit in the recommended hours of sleep, a good seven to eight ours of sleep per night.  Because I find it almost impossible to allot this amount of time to sleep,  of this, I always sleep at the same time every day to create a regular sleep cycle.  Therefore, I find it easier to wake up, and I actually feel very well-rested.  I hope we can figure out sleep schedules, or fit in more hours to be able to avoid the negative side effects of sleep deprivation. 

Rodriguez, Tori. "Why Sleep Deprivation Makes You Crabby". Scientific American Mind 27.2 (2016): 11-11. Web. 23 Feb. 2016.

Yustina Kang (Group 2)


  1. I used to have a very sporadic sleep schedule. Some days I would go to bed early others I was up until 2 or 3 in the morning and even on days where I had gotten a lot of sleep the night before I was still waking up very tired. Now I try to go to bed and wake up at the same time almost every day and I definitely notice a big difference. I have a lot more energy, don't struggle as much to get out of bed, and I do seem to be in a much better mood than I used to be. I've also pulled all nighters and have noticed I have a much worse mood so the results of this study seem to fit my own personal experiences.

    Cole DiStasio (Group 1)

  2. If I had to pick two out of (Good grades, sleep,or social life) I would definitely choose grades and sleep. Social life will always be around, good grade won't and you need sleep to do both. This is great study, one of the best way to succeed in life is by great a good rest before your day begins. Yes, there will be moments where you need to go to bed late and wake up early, however you shouldn't make a habit out of it. Stick to a strict schedule on completely task and getting 6-8 hrs of sleep.

    David Mota (group 2)

  3. I too used to have a terrible sleep schedule when my semester allowed for it. I would wake up in the afternoon and be up until 3am the previous night. It affected my mood and other aspects of my life for sure. Proper sleep and a good schedule is so important as it truly affects who we are and how we feel.

    Dasha Agoulnik (Group 1)

  4. I agree, it is hard to keep a good and consistent sleeping schedule when workload starts to build into the semester. Lacking sleep not only affects performance and behavior but eating habits. I know when I am too tired, I will usually grab something that will fill me up the fastest or the easiest to access which at most times are foods that I find unhealthy. Or I simply just dont eat enough which for both cases is really bad for you.

    Sarah Ona

    1. I definitely found that the different patterns of sleep affected what I ate. When I was running on a couple hours of sleep, or after I pulled all nighters, I was more likely to eat something unhealthy and not an entire meal. However, with regular, and satisfying sleep, I am more likely to eat healthier, and eat actual meals.


  5. As others, if I don't sleep very well, my day will go crazy. I will not be able to focus and feel tired. However, a nap during the day may be beneficial as it refreshes your brain, but I am not used to it. Also there is a recent study that says when you are sleep deprived you will eat more than when you aren't.

    Mohammed Saleh

  6. That image you displayed its great. It actually is so true, you only get two of those options. I myself need to definitely work on getting more sleep. Everything you brought up about seeing life through a negative lens when one is tired is very much true and honestly I never gave it much thought until now. I'm so much more positive with more sleep and need to get into grad school so I guess the two I would pick is sleep & good grades!

    Stephanie Aboody

  7. I look forward to being able to go to sleep throughout my whole day. Being in college though I definitely don't sleep as well as I do when I am at home. It's noisy and bright and there are way too many distractions that keep me up and wake me up early. I hate the nights that I don't get a good night sleep. I definitely need to work on sleeping better otherwise I'll be cranky. If I had to pick two from the picture I would pick sleep and good grades.

    Rebecca Thomas

  8. I always have a better day if I am well rested. Being in college, like most of the students, makes it very hard to get enough sleep. Work, homework, social lives and other issues always cut down on the importance of sleep. I find myself now to prioritize sleep more than I did as a freshman in college. I have realized that more sleep creates an overall better environment. I rarely pull "all nighters" when I have an exam. Even though it cuts into study time, I overall do better on them. Finding a balance between everything is very challenging, but sleep should be a top priority for the benefit of your health and emotional well being.

    Cara Murphy (3)

  9. Trying to pick two, I know that I would pick good grades and social life. Sleep is something that is always on the back burner. When I have a large exam I'm going to stay up all night rather than get a good nights sleep. I know that sleep is the most important but sometimes I'd rather get good grades and have a good social life.

    Caitlyn Cordaro

  10. I know that personally sleeping is one of my favorite things to do. In fact, even sometimes when I get too much sleep I seem more tired than if I slept a regular amount of time. It would be interesting to observe the effects of someone who got too much sleep and see how the results vary. Personally, I have noticed that I usually have a bad day if I do not get enough sleep and how my mood is drastically different when I'm not tired.

    Ashley Geary (1)

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