Research Methods Final Draft

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Research paper I did for my Research Methods in Marketing course. Our topic was the effect sleep aids and energy supplements effect college students.

Research paper I did for my Research Methods in Marketing course. Our topic was the effect sleep aids and energy supplements effect college students.

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  • 1. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 1 The Effects of Sleep on College Students Greg Hogya, Pat Dunne Research Methods in Marketing-WI, MKT 09384 1 Professor Habte-Giorgis April 8, 2011 Rowan University
  • 2. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 2 Table of Contents
  • 3. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 3 Managerial Summary Objectives and Methodology The purpose of this study was to determine whether college students were receiving enough sleep and if they were taking sleep aids or energy supplements. The study was developed to compare the results of our survey of a sample of college students sleep information, with the secondary data discovered on this topic. The main objectives were to determine if college students were getting enough sleep, to determine the effects of energy supplements and sleep aids, and to determine how knowledgeable college students were about the negative and positive effects of sleep. The primary data in this study came from the questionnaire which was distributed to 52 college students here at Rowan University. A survey was used to get the sleep information on college students. Secondary data came from the topics analyzed in our literature review. This secondary data included journal articles, websites, and newspaper articles. The research was descriptive research because it describes data and characteristics about the population we were studying in comparison with the sample data we generated. The study was performed to answer the questions who, what, where, when, and how as they related to sleep in college students. The study randomly selected 52 participants to fill out our surveys. The only requirements for these individuals were that they had to be college students enrolled in Rowan University. These surveys were randomly distributed throughout campus. Only 4 people refused to participate citing they were studying for mid-terms as their reason for not participating in the survey. The surveys were also distributed in Labor and Employee Relations class to get 15 of the
  • 4. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 4 surveys filled out. Ten surveys were handed out in the downstairs Bunce computer lab. The rest were handed out randomly throughout campus. This was a simple random sample. Findings Through the questionnaire results, it was determined that college students felt that they were not getting enough sleep. Although, they were getting more than hypothesized before the study, college students preferred to sleep over eight hours. However, they found themselves sleeping between six and a half to eight hours per night. Although, college students say they prefer to sleep over eight hours, a recommended amount, they actually receive less sleep. The original hypothesis was also incorrect about the use of energy supplements and sleep aids. The original hypothesis predicted many more of our sample would use energy supplements. An overwhelming amount of people thought energy drink use was increasing yet, very few people said they had taken any of the energy supplements listed in the questionnaire. Comparing this with sales figures and college student use statistics in numerous articles in the literature review, these results are shocking. Some of their responses in the survey contradicted secondary data researched in the literature review. The results surprised us to learn that college students believed they had knowledge about both the effects of sleep and the sleep cycle itself. Studies show that there is very little knowledge about the sleep cycle, sleep deprivation, and the benefits of sleep among college students especially because of their lack of sleep. According to our survey, college students believed they had this knowledge even though they felt they did not receive enough sleep per night.
  • 5. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 5 Conclusions and Recommendations College students felt they were not getting enough sleep and they in fact were not. According to the questionnaire responses, it would be recommended college students spend less time watching TV/movies, going on the computer, drinking/partying, and hanging out with friends. They also need to learn how to budget their time better so they don’t feel like homework is getting in their way of sleeping. Since, an overwhelming amount of people feel that there is a strong relationship between sleep and academic performance, they need to learn how to fit both into their schedule. According to the questionnaire, the college students surveyed rarely use sleep aids and energy supplements. This was contradictory to the secondary data studied and was surprising to say the least. It is also recommended college students learn how to achieve adequate sleep before resorting to energy supplements which may cause them long-term harm but, they appear to not be using them to the extent hypothesized. This is according to the secondary data in the literature review. College students believe they have sufficient knowledge of the sleep cycle and the effects of sleep deprivation. I would disagree that they have this knowledge as evidenced by the amount of sleep they have per night and some of their other surveyed answers. I would recommend that they increase their knowledge about the effects of sleep and sleep cycle so that they realize that adequate sleep is of great importance to their academic abilities.
  • 6. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 6 Background/Introduction General background to the situation that led to the research project Sleep is one of the most fundamental necessities to ensuring an individual’s health. The lack of sleep in America is debilitating to society as a whole, and without a proper sleep regimen, detrimental side effects may occur. The study and previous literature on the subject, felt that college students today weren’t receiving enough sleep per night. With the stress of academic performance and social activities, the concept of sleep deprivation and energy supplements made us curious to find out whether college students neglected the importance of sleep. The importance of sleep on the body is an understated issue. Sleep is almost just as important as diet and exercise to the human body. The college students in today’s society appear to not receive enough sleep per night nor do they understand the benefits of sleep. The use of energy supplements in America as well as many other countries is increasing. This topic intrigues us because of the potential harmful effects of these supplements and their abuse by college students. College students, also, are not as educated about the sleep cycle and the effects of sleep deprivation according to numerous sources. Knowledge of the sleep cycle and the negative effects of sleep deprivation are unknown to most and this study wanted to figure out whether people thought they had knowledge about this topic.
  • 7. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 7 Information pertaining to the business or issue being researched The information and secondary data discovered for this study determined that college students were not receiving enough sleep due to overwhelming work and strange schedules. The amount of sleep Americans are getting has been decreasing for some time and is estimated to continue to decrease throughout the 21st century. Sleep deprivation is a serious issue and can cause obesity, fatigue, mood swings, and poor decision-making. Information was also gathered on how important sleep actually is to the body. Sleep is needed to rejuvenate the body and it helps the human body recharge after a days activities. The four stages of sleep are also examined in the literature review. Stage one is a light state of sleep while stage four is a deeper stage of sleep in which more energy is gathered then the first stage. However, it takes a certain amount of time to go through these stages and if the required hours are not met there is a chance that sleep deprivation may occur. Research was also analyzed on how mental sleep disorders can affect sleep in people. A sleep disorder consists of any forms of mental illness that deprives a person of sleep, the most common of which being insomnia. These disorders cause sleep deprivation at its most intense level. Hallucinations may occur as well as cognitive impairment. This is a serious problem because people may hurt themselves or hurt others because of their fatigue or impairment. Some other information gathered indicated that energy supplement use was increasing in America and that college students and many young people were the main users of these
  • 8. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 8 supplements such as energy drinks and energy pills. There are many different types of energy supplements as well as sleep aids. They are industries with a lot of competition and a limitless amount of clients which makes them extremely profitable. Research was performed on caffeine and the way it will affect the brain and body. Long- term use of caffeine or some energy supplements can cause a dependency to form. Needing a cup of coffee in the morning may not feel like a serious problem to you, but what happens that one day that you have no coffee and cannot find any. Caffeine is a drug and is addictive when used in excess. Caffeine can cause restlessness, nausea, dehydration, and upset stomach. Another topic researched was the dependency related to sleep aids. Studies show that using sleep aids constantly and daily may cause a dependency problem. People who take sleep aids every night may develop a problem that prevents them from falling asleep without using a sleep aid as a catalyst for sleep. Overuse of sleep aids can cause next day tiredness, dizziness, and drowsiness. Sleep aids are commonly used by persons with sleep disorders, however, college students and night workers are known to use them to help them stay on their sleep schedule. This study has given insight into the use of energy supplements, sleep aids, caffeine, and energy drinks by college students and their perceptions about their usefulness, harmfulness, and effectiveness. Although, the use of energy supplements is increasing at a phenomenal rate in America, and according to secondary research amongst college students, this study did not in fact prove that. Marketing researchers could use this study to show perceptions by college students of energy drinks and their effects. According to the survey, college students agree energy supplement use is increasing, they keep them awake but, they also see that energy
  • 9. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 9 supplements produce more harm than good. This could show that possible health issues are becoming more evident in college students today, and could be furthered looked into. The situation or management problem that led to the study The situation or management problem that led to this study was whether or not college students received enough sleep. Many sources suggest to us that college students do not sleep enough and they are not knowledgeable about sleep and over abuse energy supplements in order to stay awake. This study investigated whether these college students were receiving adequate sleep through the night, and if they weren’t, what the reason they weren’t and what was getting in the way of their sleep. The situation of the college environment, with strong academic pressures and social gatherings, influencing college students, attracted us to studying the sleeping habits amongst college students. Significance of the study This study gives insight into the use of energy supplements and sleep aids by college students. This information is pertinent to companies that either manufacture or produce sleep aids and energy supplements because they need to know whose purchasing and using their products. The results conducted through this survey did not match up with the secondary data that we researched. The study also showed the sleeping habits of college students. This information is crucial for anyone marketers in the industry selling sleep aids or energy supplements. By knowing how much they sleep and their knowledge about sleep, marketers are
  • 10. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 10 better able to narrow in on the college market to see how to best help them with their sleeping habits.
  • 11. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 11 Literature Review Running Head: Sleep Deprivation The Negative Effects of Sleep Deprivation Greg Hogya Rowan University
  • 12. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 12 I. Sleep Stages and Sleep Effects on Individuals The amount of time Americans sleep has been decreasing and is projected to continue to decline in the future. Sleep is a biological need for all humans and sleep deprivation is causing humans to function at lower levels with dreadful side-effects for both the short- and long-term. Sleep has a myriad of effects on an individual depending on such factors as the stages of sleep, age, duration, and timing of sleep. When an individual is deprived of sleep, negative consequences emerge. These consequences emerge as a result of such sleep disorders as insomnia, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy as well as the irregular sleep schedules and sleep deficits in many human beings that endanger their health in a variety of ways (Stein, 2005). The negative effects of sleep deprivation include obesity, cognitive issues, mood variations, irregular hormone secretions, negative memory functions, decision-making, daily functioning, poor immune system functioning, mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, decreased alertness, and inadequate daily functioning. The negative effects of sleep deprivation harm many individuals. But, unlike obtaining medical care, individuals fail to seek treatment for sleep disorders (Gaultney & Collins-McNeil, 2009). This failure to seek help or acknowledge sleep deprivation as an illness has caused many people to fail to see the truly debilitating effects that a lack of sleep can impose upon individuals. This paper will show these detrimental effects and why sleep deprivation is a serious issue, especially in America. Sleep operates in unique stages that rejuvenate the body. Sleep is necessary to keep individuals healthy and should be considered as equally important in one’s health schedule as diet and exercise. Sleep patterns begin with NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement) sleep which comprises 75% of the night. NREM is composed of four stages. Stage one is a light form of sleep, where stage four is a deep state of sleep. REM sleep encompasses the other 25% of the
  • 13. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 13 night. The stages of sleep are important because certain stages are necessary for individuals to remain healthy. For example, stage four in the sleep cycle is crucial for individuals to remain healthy. In stage four of the sleep cycle individuals experience the most profound and recuperative sleep. In stage four blood pressure drops, blood supply increases to muscles making them more relaxed, muscle tissue repair occurs, and important hormones are released, such as growth hormones. Deep sleep secretes human growth hormones, which is necessary for all individuals. This is especially true in young individuals that need muscle development and reparation. REM sleep is crucial because it provides energy, aids in brain functioning, and relaxes body and muscular tension. In REM sleep the eyes move from side to side. REM is when dreaming occurs and is absolutely essential for consolidating memories, creativity, learning, decision-making, and problem-solving (Beck, 2009). REM sleep is needed for individuals to function properly in their daily activities. During sleep, a hormone cortisol is released. It is needed to make individuals alert when they wake up. If this hormone was not produced the irregular hormone imbalance could lead to a lack of functioning in areas such as alertness, decision-making, and memory. REM and deep sleep are the two most important areas that decline with age and are substantially prone to health issues such as anxiety, sleep disorders, and cognitive issues. The stages of sleep are important to understand because without properly experiencing these stages, the above listed negative effects of sleep deprivation can result. The age of an individual plays a large role in sleep effects. Studies show that sleep is most important for children. Children that have sleep deficits earlier in life are at a greater risk for mental disorders, learning problems, aggressive behavior, and obesity. Children are more prone to suffering mental illnesses, particularly depression and anxiety, later in life as well as abusing alcohol and drugs if they encountered sleep problems earlier in life (Petersen, 2011). The
  • 14. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 14 effects of sleep on the brain are what lead to mental illnesses and decreased concentration. The most important factor for children concerning sleep is getting the proper hormones. Without adequate sleep, children would be unable to get the proper growth hormones. Without the proper growth hormones in the deeper stages of sleep, children would be hindered in muscle development and muscle repair. The recommended sleep duration varies based upon age. It is commonly recommended that younger individual get more sleep than older individuals. It is recommended that adults get seven to nine hours per night whereas children are recommended between nine and eleven hours, according to the averages of the articles studied. With twenty percent of Americans sleeping less than six hours per night, sleep deprivation is a serious issue that needs to be addressed in our society (Beck, 2009). Americans average only 6.9 hours of sleep per night which has drastically gone down over only a small period of time (Epstein, 2010). These numbers are worrisome, especially since individuals don’t truly understand the detriments of inadequate sleep patterns. Overall, it appears that younger individuals sleep more than older individuals. This is important, as illustrated before younger people need more sleep. It is important to note that most studies involving age and sleep show that as individuals age there is progressively less depth in the sleep cycle and there is also less continuity in their sleep measurements (Hume, Van, & Watson, 1998). This percentage is only increasing as sleep deprivation rates are on the rise and more unhealthy side effects are becoming known to the public. II. The Negative Effects of Sleep Deprivation The negative effects of sleep deprivation can include reduced cognitive impairment, reduced academic performance, increased accidents because of delayed reaction time, decreased hormone
  • 15. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 15 secretions including cortisol and growth hormones, negative immune system functioning, leaning impairment, memory deficits, mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, obesity which has been shown to lead to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, and a reduced level of daily functioning. The four most debilitating effects are obesity, mental disorders, cognitive impairment, and hormonal imbalances. Obesity is considered an epidemic in America today. Sleep deprivation could become one of the next big epidemics in America. Every article and journal analyzed showed obesity as a side effect of sleep deprivation. When individuals are deprived of sleep they have an increased hunger and appetite (Orzeł-Gryglewska, 2010). A lack of sleep has been shown to have correlations with obesity, hypertension, and metabolic disorders. There is also evidence to support that people that are obese are more likely to have a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea or chronic insomnia. Numerous studies have shown a correlation between weight gain and short sleep in conjunction with appetite-regulating hormones. These appetite-regulating hormones include leptin and ghrelin. Their fluctuations depend on a variety of factors. Leptin and ghrelin are essential hormones produced during deep sleep which are necessary for the human body (Spivey, 2010). The release of hormones regulating growth and appetite are necessary for human functioning. Since they are secreted during deep sleep, without sleep, harmful effects could overtake one’s body. Leptin is a hormone that suppresses appetite and ghrelin is a peptide that stimulates appetite (Gaultney & Collins-McNeil, 2009). These hormones are essential to understanding the correlation between obesity and sleep deprivation. With too much ghrelin in our system, our appetites can be overly stimulated. If one lack’s the hormone Leptin, one’s appetite will not appear as full as it truly is. This causes individuals to eat more and progressively leads to obesity
  • 16. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 16 in hormone deficient individuals. Other studies attribute obesity to be a result of increased activity in the sympathetic nervous system. This would ultimately lead to raised heart rate, blood pressure, more exposure to possible cardiovascular diseases, and hypertension. During stages of deep sleep or stage four of the sleep cycle, our blood pressure drops. This drop in blood pressure if not experienced during nightly sleep, could result in hypertension to individuals that suffer from sleep deprivation. Inadequate sleeping habits can cause lower energy expenditures where individuals have no desire to do any physical activity or even worse, cutting off the body’s hormones that are secreted during sleep (Gaultney & Collins-McNeil, 2009). When we analyze both the effect of hormones on the body’s metabolism we can see that people eat more and they perceive their hunger as not being as satisfied (Beck, 2009). Obesity is a very detrimental effect of sleep deprivation and is currently being researched daily to determine the exact nature of the relationship between a lack of sleep and obesity. The most common mental disorders related to sleep deprivation are depression and anxiety. Mania is also another mental disorder that can aggravate sleep deprivation. Episodes of mania aggravate sleep deprivation by turning into insomnia or increasing aggressive behavior among individuals (Orzeł-Gryglewska, 2010). Aggressive behavior is found in individuals who go through manic episodes and people experiencing depression and anxiety. These mental disorders need therapeutic treatment, although sleep deprivation does not get treated as frequently as other mental disorders. Individuals often do not realize the severity of their sleep disorders. Mental disorders are also a serious issue because many psychological disorders severely compromise an individual’s health and make sleeping difficult. Sleep is frequently disrupted by individuals who have other mental disorders (Gaultney & Collins-McNeil, 2009). ADHD is common in individuals with erratic sleeping patterns. By not
  • 17. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 17 following the proper stages of sleep explained above, individuals may be more predisposed to experiencing these mental disorders later in life. It is also important to recognize sleep disorders that can cause individuals to have inadequate sleep which leads to problems discussed here. Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder and it makes it very difficult for individuals to get to sleep. Restless leg syndrome can cause disturbances in the sleep cycle. Narcolepsy can also cause irregular sleeping patterns as individuals are overcome by unexpected attacks of deeper stages of sleep as well as sleep walking. Sleep apnea is a condition that can be caused by shallow breathing or pauses in breathing that disrupts an individual’s sleeping habits making the crucial stages of the sleep cycle difficult to reach (Lovgren, 2005). Sleep deprivation and sleep disorders can cause the mental disorders mentioned above and cause cognitive impairment in individuals. A lack of sleep or sleep disorders can cause cognitive impairment in numerous ways, such as a lack of concentration. That is why it is crucial that children and teens get enough sleep at night in order to have superior academic performance. Inadequate sleep of any kind can cause cognitive impairment in the forms of delayed reflexes, poor memory function, failure to pay attention, impaired learning, and poor decision-making. Sleep deprivation has been shown to slow down the attention and reaction times of individuals which can show severe consequences when driving, using machinery, or doing complex work (Gaultney & Collins-McNeil, 2009). Sleep is becoming recommended by employers to their employees so their cognitive functioning is not impaired during working hours. An increase in the amount of daytime sleepiness up to 20% is becoming a major concern for employers because this could hinder their employees from performing at optimal levels (Lovgren, 2005). This lack of sleep experienced by employees could produce hazardous results to workers who have jobs that require them to perform heavy lifting, complex calculations, surgery, manufacturing, as well as many others. If
  • 18. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 18 the cognitive abilities of these workers are not at their premium level, employers may want to begin to examine these individuals sleeping habits. Recent scientific studies have tied memory and recall problems to REM sleep deprivation. Recall performance is significantly decreased if individuals are deprived of sleep. Scientists are currently doing further research on the effects of sleep deprivation on the other stages of the sleep as well as further investigating the effects on REM sleep. The recent studies have shown definite correlations between consolidation of memories, cognitive skills, and recall during REM and the certain areas of NREM sleep. For cognitive skills to be functioning at their top level, REM sleep and going through the proper sleep cycles are essential for individuals (Rauchs, Desgranges, Foret, & Eustache, 2005). Hormonal imbalances are one of the most detrimental effects of sleep deprivation and they are becoming more evident through the scientific studies performed today. Certain hormones are secreted during sleep making them a necessity to fuel our daily functioning. If these hormones are not produced during the necessary sleep stages negative effects can result in individuals. The first two hormones important to note are leptin and ghrelin. As mentioned before, these are related to appetite regulation for the human body. If someone does not get enough sleep these hormones may change their sensation of being full, increasing their appetite, and altering the body’s response to sugar intake. These all cause weight gain which could lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease (Epstein, 2010). There have been numerous correlations with a lack of sleep earlier in life and obesity later in life. These hormonal imbalances are especially important with children who are still growing. During stage four of the sleep cycle, hormones are secreted. Growth hormones are secreted here and they are essential for a child’s muscular development. If a child does not receive enough sleep or suffers from sleep disorder symptoms, the child may not receive the appropriate amount of growth hormones his or
  • 19. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 19 her body needs to grow and develop. Recent studies have shown increased levels of visfatin in individuals who do not receive adequate sleep. Visfatin is a hormone that has been shown to have a strong relationship with insulin resistance (Beck, 2009). Effects of these hormones can show possible associations with a lack of sleep and obesity, diabetes, poor immune system functioning, and cardiovascular disease. As shown in the sleep cycle above, it is important to see that children must enter stage four of the sleep cycle to ensure they receive their adequate levels of hormones to promote proper daily functioning. For children to develop properly they must make sure they receive adequate sleep to ensure proper hormonal functioning and body development. Sleep deprivation can take a large toll on the human body if adequate sleep is not received. This is especially important with younger children because of the effect that a lack of sleep can have on them later in life. These negative effects on children later in life include obesity, decreased secretion of growth hormones, hormonal imbalances, and cognitive impairment. Americans in particular get less sleep than other countries and they need to receive adequate sleep to improve their daily functioning. Sleep disorders often go unnoticed in this country and are negatively affecting performance. If we do not get adequate sleep we risk facing obesity, mental disorders, cognitive impairment, hormonal imbalances, and other negative side effects. By informing individuals through seminars, manuals, and classes about sleep cycles, methods, negative effects, and prevention measures we can enhance the well-being of individuals in America.
  • 20. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 20 Running Head: The Use of Energy Supplements and Sleep Aids The Use of Energy Supplements and Sleep Aids Patrick Dunne Rowan University
  • 21. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 21 The use of energy supplements, sleep aids, and caffeine is rising across the globe (Merrett 2007). The question some people fail to ask, however, is how these products affect a person’s ability or inability to sleep normally. Throughout this literature review it will be proven that all three of these things affect the amount and way people sleep. They all have similar positive and negative effects on the body. This topic is important because the overall use of sleep aids and energy supplements are increasing throughout the world and people do not really understand how these products really affect the human body. Also sleep is extremely important to everyone in the world. Everyone must do it to recharge their body after a long day. How much sleep a person gets at night determines their alertness and performance ability (Bryant & Wolfson 2010). How Energy Supplements, Sleep Aids, and Caffeine Effect Sleep Energy supplements range from drinks to pills that contain a variety of different chemicals, minerals, and herbal supplements. The most abundant of which is caffeine. Caffeine is a white, bitter alkaloid that stimulants the nervous system of the human body usually creating a sense of alertness and hyperactivity. Many studies have been done on caffeine in the last couple decades to determine the overall negative and positive effects of the mineral. All these studies have found that caffeine can have positive effects if used properly but may become addictive and also can harm your body if abused (Topendsports.com). Energy drinks are the most predominant energy supplements on the market today. Sales have been slowly rising ever since Red Bull and other brands have been stocking shelves (Merrett 2007). Other forms of energy drinks are 5 Hour Energy and MaXXX which are smaller “shot” type drinks. Since this article was written in 2007 there has been a steady increase in the use energy drinks. Use of energy drinks on a day to day basis may lead to dependency because
  • 22. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 22 the body may get used to having a certain amount of caffeine in the body. It may become necessary for a person to drink one as soon as they wake up or they will never get out of bed (EDrinks.net). Sleep aids are used to help people fall asleep and stay asleep. They can make someone fall asleep even when they do not want to or when they physically cannot. Someone on sleep medication can sleep through almost anything and cannot easily be woken up. Negative and Positive Effects of Caffeine and Energy Supplements Most energy supplements contain some amount of caffeine. Some more than others but overall energy supplements have the same effects of caffeine. Caffeine has a variety of effects, some of which are positive but many more that are negative. The positive effects include improved performance, increased alertness, temporary reduction in fatigue, and it has some positive effects on the heart (SteadyHealth.com). Caffeine is a stimulant which is why it affects people this way. The negative effects, in my opinion, outweigh the benefits. Negative effects include restlessness, nausea, sleep difficulties, upset stomach, and dehydration due to increased urination. Other long-term effects are irregular heartbeat and high blood pressure. The most prevalent negative effect to most people is the dependency that comes along with continued use. In some cases people may even become addicted and have moderate withdrawal symptoms after extended and constant use (Topendsports.com). Negative and Positive Effects of Sleep Aids Sleep aids also come with some negative and positive effects attached to use. The best sleep aids are pills or medical containing melatonin, 5HTP, and some herbal supplements
  • 23. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 23 (CantSleep.org). These sleep aids are known as barbiturates (WebMD.com 2010). Some barbiturates include Lunesta, Ambien, and Sonata. Most people that use sleep aids are people with sleep disorders such as insomnia. However, people who have irregular schedules such as college students and night workers have also been known to use sleep aids to help them sleep when they are stressed out or need to sleep during the day. The positive effects of sleep aids are that they are effective, easily available, and can prevent sleep disruptions. These effects help people who take them fall asleep and stay asleep when they are having trouble resting. The negative effects include next day tiredness and some harmful side effects according to WebMD.com. Harmful side effects such as changes in appetite, burning or tingling in hands or feet, difficulty keeping balance, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, heartburn, and usual dreams are results of taking this medication (WebMD.com 2010). The worst effect, however, is the moderate dependency that comes along with extended and constant use. If a person uses sleep aids every night to fall asleep they may soon find themselves unable to sleep without the medication they had been taking (Pillitteri, Kozlowski, Person, & Spear 1994). Another type of sleep aid are benzodiazepines. These are anti-anxiety drugs such as Xanax, Valium, and Ativan. They carry much more harmful effects and a serious risk of dependency. The overall summary of what has been learned since collecting these literary and public sources and publications is that caffeine is the major factor when considering the effects of energy supplements such as energy drinks and pills. Sleep aids and energy supplements have a serious effect on the amount and way people sleep. There are harmful side effects in both cases but there are also some positive effects as well. Sleep aids give people with insomnia and other sleep deprivation problems the ability to sleep. Energy supplements allow people to be alert,
  • 24. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 24 awake and improve performance. Both have a variety of different brands that contain different chemicals and minerals.
  • 25. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 25 Aims of the Research General Purpose of the Study The general purpose of this study is to indicate the effects of sleep on college students. By analyzing college student’s knowledge of sleep, their actual sleep patterns, and how they sleep, this study helped us understand their overall sleep patterns. This study also gave significant insight into the rate of use of energy supplements and sleep aids among college students so we can determine how these products affect their sleep schedule and which energy supplements and sleep aids should be marketed towards college students. This study also showed college students knowledge of the sleep cycle, sleep effects, and sleep deprivation to get an overall view of their knowledge of sleep. Motivation for Conducting Study College students are often deprived of sleep and their inadequate sleep patterns are detrimental, according to the secondary data on the topic. Through careful analysis of the secondary data on the subject, colleges students is an area that marketers should focus on in terms of sleep aids and energy supplements because of their irregular sleeping patterns. The motivation for conducting this study was that, being college students and knowing how hard managing your time is, do these products really help college students or are they actually harming them. Energy supplements and sleep aids can help a college student stay up late to finish a paper or help them sleep when their sleep schedule gets messed up from a long night studying. Although, secondary data shows the negative effects of these supplements, this study
  • 26. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 26 helped look into how college students use these aids to help them through their academic careers. This is important research because both of these products can prove contradictory to each other if used together and have different effects on the student in the long-run. Evaluating college student’s knowledge of sleep was also of crucial importance in order to see how much they would value help in this area to reform their sleep patterns to help their academic performance. Specific Managerial/Marketing Decisions to be Supported by Results of the Study The main decisions this study can help make is it can determine if marketing energy supplements or sleep aids is necessary or effective in relation to college students. It also can determine whether a supplier of these products should create more of an amount available around college or university campuses. Sleep aids and energy supplements may be more important in certain colleges than other colleges. This study looks into the use of sleep aids and energy supplements by Rowan University students. This study also questions their knowledge about the effects of these supplements as well as their knowledge of the effects of sleep. College students knowledge of the effects of sleep deprivation is important to marketers because if can help them better reach this growing niche market that may be in need of a refined marketing campaign. Specific Research Objectives to be Attained The research objectives attained would include an assortment of sleep based questions. The main research objectives in this study were to analyze the amount of sleep college students had each night, the effects of energy supplements and sleep aids, and the knowledge that college students had about the effects of sleep. The topics covered included if a student felt like he slept more than other students, how important sleep actually is to him/her, how much they actually
  • 27. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 27 sleep each night, if they preferred sleeping longer or shorter than the recommended amount, the effects of energy supplements and sleep aids, how sleep affects their academic performance, how sleep affects their health, if they stay up at night; what kept them up, if where they lived affected their sleep pattern, if the college they were in affected their sleep pattern, and lastly, if their year in college affected their sleep pattern. All of these minor objectives combined to achieve the three main research objectives.
  • 28. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 28 Research Design and Methodology Research method The survey was used to find the sleep habits, energy supplements and sleep aid usage, and effects of sleep information on college students. A survey was used because a survey was capable of provide a large amount of data about the college students as it related to our study. A questionnaire could provide us with descriptive information about our subjects and also lead to more in-depth information about the individual’s views and knowledge of sleep. Through the format of a survey we were able to work towards more complex answers and get a more rounded view of the individual’s sleeping habits. In the first part of a Likert scale questions where the survey compared the degree to which individuals agreed or disagreed with a statement, we could easily gather information that provided us with answers to our research objectives. The second part allowed us to dig deeper into their sleeping habits and we were able to get more in-depth information to supplement the information in part one. Not only did the survey gather demographic information, but it also allowed us to obtain the subject’s amount of sleep, what distracts them when they should be sleeping, their use of energy supplements, if they had a disorder, if they used sleep aids, and other information that aided our discovery process. Descriptive data was gathered because the goal of the questionnaire was to find descriptive characteristics about the population under study as represented in our sample. It was a goal of the questionnaire to be able to answer the who, what, where, when, and how of college students sleeping habits. The information provided, through descriptive research, in-depth information of college students sleeping habits.
  • 29. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 29 Sampling This study used simple random sampling. This was used because we wanted to survey college students but, not just survey our friends. Surveys were handed out in the Bunce computer lab, in the Labor and Employees Relations class, in the library, and others were handed out randomly throughout campus. This method helped us achieve the study’s research objectives because each student was able to answer about their sleeping habits and energy supplement and sleep aid usage. Although, it was thought that they may not have been as open about their usage of energy supplements and sleep aids, all students genuinely filled out the surveys with interest and curiosity. The college students that filled out our questionnaires also helped to show us their knowledge about the sleep cycle and the effects of sleep deprivation, which was very important to understanding how college students view the effects of sleep. The total sample size was 52 questionnaires which were distributed throughout campus. It was made sure that the sample only consisted of college students currently enrolled in Rowan University. Data Collection The questionnaire used for this study includes both nominal and scale data. The questionnaire is in the format of a Likert scale because respondents were asked to specify the agreed or disagreed with a series of mental belief and behavioral belief statements all revolving to some degree on sleep. Questions were structured to provide information to answer the research objectives specifically. The Likert scale ranged from strongly agree to strongly disagree, with the option for respondents to choose neither if they desired. The questionnaire began thanking respondents for taking their valuable time to fill out the survey and they were told that the results would be strictly confidential to be used for analysis in Research Methods in
  • 30. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 30 Marketing class. Part one of the survey, as mentioned above was the Likert scale format. Part one of the survey solely collected nominal data. Part two of the survey collected both nominal and scale data, particularly scale data. Part two also collected demographic information and the description of the respondents which is discussed in the first section of the results section in detail. The scale data collected in this section that related to the research objectives of the study were the number of naps per day, the amount of energy drinks consumed per week, the amount of coffee consumed per day, and the amount of sleep on average per night. Data that was inputted as nominal in SPSS 18.0, that was part two of the survey, included what respondents stayed up late to do, their use of sleep aids, and if they had any diagnosed sleep disorder. Other data collected in part two to further descriptive analysis of the respondents included the living location, gender, college, and year in college of the respondent. A specimen questionnaire is attached in the appendix under Questionnaire A1. An annotated questionnaire is also attached in the appendix under Questionnaire A2. Surveys were distributed randomly throughout campus and in two major areas. Fifteen of the surveys were completed in Labor and Employees Relations class, ten were handed out in the Bunce computer lab, and the rest were distributed randomly throughout campus. Four individuals did not take the survey because they said they were too busy studying for midterms. Besides for those four individuals refusing to participate, the other fifty-two respondents who did take the survey seemed very interested and completed the survey with enthusiasm. In the limitations of the study section, we discussed possible problems with the uneven amounts of respondents in certain categories. Particularly, the thirty-four males compared to eighteen females, an overwhelming amount of forty business majors, and thirty-five seniors, may have an impact on the quality of the data because certain groups of students are not completely represented in this
  • 31. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 31 data. If different colleges were to be selected, more females, and more lower-classman, the quality of the data would improve because of better representation of groups that are now minorities in our data. The quality of the data could be improved through increasing the amount of surveys and possibly conducting surveys of alumni to see changes in sleep patterns once these students leave college. These factors are discussed in more detail in the limitations of the study section. To see these results, please go to the annotated questionnaire located in the appendix as Questionnaire A2. Tabulation and Analysis Procedures SPSS 18.0 was utilized for data entry and processing. Statistical analyses were computed using SPSS 18.0. To see the data set used in this study, go to section B1 in the appendix. Cross- tabulations and graphs were computed for each of the questions. Non-parametric analyses and parametric analyses were computed where appropriate to help with analyzing the data. SPSS 18.0 was used to analyze the data collected through the survey to better understand the data.
  • 32. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 32 Results Part One: Description of Respondents (Biographic Characteristics) Biographic characteristics that were analyzed in this study include gender, college or major, current year, and living location. A characteristic common to all respondents was that they were enrolled in Rowan University. The location the students took the surveys in included fifteen in a Labor and Employees Relations class, ten in the Bunce computer lab, and the remaining surveys were randomly distributed throughout campus. Only 4 people refused to participate in the survey because they said they were studying for mid-terms. Thirty-four of the respondents were male and eighteen of the respondents were female. The gender bias in this study significantly favors males. The college within Rowan University or the respondents major was also analyzed in this survey. An overwhelming amount of students in this study were in the Rohrer College of Business or the business major. Two respondents were communications students, three respondents were education students, two respondents were engineering students, zero respondents were fine arts students, and five respondents were liberal arts students. The respondent’s ages are not known, but their current year in college is known. Only one respondent was a freshman, four respondents were sophomores, twelve respondents were juniors, and thirty- five respondents were seniors. Limitations on the disproportionate gender, year, and college values are explained in the “Limitations of the Study” section. The living location of the respondents was less dispersed as opposed to the other biographic characteristics. Fifteen respondents lived on campus, twenty respondents lived off campus, and seventeen respondents commuted from home.
  • 33. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 33 Part Two: The Sleep Patterns of College Students I. College students view sleep as a priority, although, they do not receive adequate sleep. The data proved to show many interesting findings for all of the project’s research objectives. There were cases in which the data set went against the secondary data researched on the topic as well as many instances where the data set agreed with the secondary data showing intriguing results. The first overarching research objective analyzed was the sleeping patterns of college students. This research objective was foundational to this project and was of prominent importance to be analyzed through the questionnaire. The first statement on the questionnaire was “I sleep more than other students my age.” This was one of the few times where the data had a fairly even spread. This even distribution can be seen in Chart C1. There was eighteen disagrees which proved to be surprising to say the least. This would mean that eighteen of the respondents believed they slept less than other students their age. According to secondary data, the amount of sleep that college students receive is inadequate and this proves that numerous students realize that their sleep patterns are debilitating. This statement is important when viewed in conjunction with the second statement “Sleep is a priority to me.” An overwhelming majority agreed that sleep was a priority to them. Therefore, it is evident that college students realize they are not getting enough sleep but they view sleep as a priority. These contradictory views in the respondents mind, could best be seen in a cross tabulation between these results. You would think that students who sleep more than other students would view sleep as a priority yet, it is clear that college students realize they do
  • 34. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 34 not receive enough sleep. The cross tabulation of “I sleep more hours than other students my age” and “Sleep is a priority to me” is shown below. Sleep more hours than other students * Sleep is a priority Cross-tabulation Count Sleep is a priority Strongly Strongly Agree Agree Neither Disagree Disagree Total Sleep more hours Strongly Agree 5 5 0 0 0 10 than other students Agree 1 8 0 2 0 11 Neither 1 5 2 0 0 8 Disagree 4 7 2 2 3 18 Strongly Disagree 0 0 0 4 1 5 Total 11 25 4 8 4 52 This example illustrates that even though college students view sleep as a priority, they still do not receive adequate sleep. To see college students actual amount of sleep each day of the week with the statement they “Sleep more hours than other students” cross tabulation, please look in the appendix at Cross-Tabulation D1. II. College students believe they need more sleep, but their desire for adequate sleep appears insincere. The first example illustrated that sleep was a priority to them. This study calls into question whether the priority that college students place on sleep is significant. College students both leaned towards the agreement side on both the statements “I do not receive enough sleep each night” and “I feel I need more sleep each night.” These questions were both very similar and intended to see whether college students believed they needed more sleep each night. This
  • 35. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 35 coincides with the how they view sleep as a priority. By saying that they need more sleep each night and that they do not receive enough sleep each night, they are in fact admitting that they do not receive optimum sleep per night. The fact that they do not receive optimum sleep per night can be seen in questions forty-five through fifty-one. The average amount of hours college students slept per night was analyzed and is below the recommended eight plus hours that many of the secondary sources recommends. Only Tuesday had an average value below seven hours per night. The frequencies for each of the hours can best be seen when compared in a chart. Bar charts for each of the days of the week and their corresponding amount of sleep in hours can be seen in the appendix as Chart C2 through Chart C8. III. College students sleep patterns are significantly interrupted by watching TV/movies, doing homework, going on the computer, drinking/partying, and hanging out with their friends. Questions thirty-two through thirty-eight asked respondents to check all of the reasons they stay up late. Respondents checked off more responses than originally hypothesized. These other activities, especially academic pressures and social gatherings, are believed to be at the root of college students sleep inadequacies. The items listed in the survey are routine activities that college students perform on a daily basis and it is believed that these are the activities interfering with their sleep patterns. Thirty-nine respondents stayed up late to watch TV/movies, thirty-nine respondents stayed up late to do homework, thirty-one respondents stayed up late to go on the computer, seventeen respondents stayed up late to play video games, thirty-two respondents stayed up late for drinking/partying, thirty-seven respondents stayed up late to hang out with their friends, and four respondents stayed up later for reasons not specified in this questionnaire.
  • 36. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 36 Charts are depicted in the appendix of the respondents answers to what causes them to stay up late and these answers are contrasted with respondents overwhelming agreement that sleep is a priority. Even though students view sleep as a priority, it is clear that they let drinking/party, watching TV/movies, going on the computer, and hanging out with their friends get in the way of their sleep routine. Charts C9-C14 depicts this relationship as shown in the appendix. Illustrated below are cross-tabulations that show the activities that students view as interrupting their sleep and the students that view sleep as a priority to them. Sleep is a priority * Watch TV Movies Cross tabulation Count WatchTVMovies No Yes Total Sleep is a priority Strongly Agree 3 8 11 Agree 4 21 25 Neither 2 2 4 Disagree 2 6 8 Strongly Disagree 2 2 4 Total 13 39 52 Sleep is a priority * DoHomework Crosstabulation Count DoHomework No Yes Total Sleep is a priority Strongly Agree 3 8 11 Agree 8 17 25 Neither 0 4 4 Disagree 2 6 8 Strongly Disagree 0 4 4 Total 13 39 52
  • 37. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 37 Sleep is a priority * Go on Computer Cross tabulation Count GoonComputer No Yes Total Sleep is a priority Strongly Agree 3 8 11 Agree 13 12 25 Neither 1 3 4 Disagree 3 5 8 Strongly Disagree 1 3 4 Total 21 31 52 Sleep is a priority * Drinking Partying Cross tabulation Count DrinkingPartying No Yes Total Sleep is a priority Strongly Agree 4 7 11 Agree 12 13 25 Neither 1 3 4 Disagree 2 6 8 Strongly Disagree 1 3 4 Total 20 32 52
  • 38. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 38 Sleep is a priority * Hanging with Friends Cross tabulation Count HangingwithFriends No Yes Total Sleep is a priority Strongly Agree 3 8 11 Agree 8 17 25 Neither 1 3 4 Disagree 1 7 8 Strongly Disagree 2 2 4 Total 15 37 52 IV. The academic pressures of college take a substantial toll on students sleep patterns. College puts academic pressures on students. These academic pressures as shown earlier effect the student’s sleep schedule. Unfortunately, these academic pressures have a negative effect on their sleep schedule. Overall, college students believe that their sleep has a strong relationship with their academic performance. Twenty-three students agree and nine students strongly agree that “My sleep has a strong relationship with my academic performance.” This statement has a relationship to “I find myself doing homework when I should be sleeping” and “The more sleep I receive the better I can concentrate.”
  • 39. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 39 Sleep relationship with academic performance * Do homework when I should be sleeping Cross tabulation Count Do homework when I should be sleeping Strongly Strongly Agree Agree Neither Disagree Disagree Total Sleep relationship with academic Strongly 3 1 1 2 2 9 performance Agree Agree 1 15 2 4 1 23 Neither 3 3 2 2 0 10 Disagree 2 4 0 1 1 8 Strongly 0 1 0 0 1 2 Disagree Total 9 24 5 9 5 52 These cross-tabulations illustrate the relationships college students believe that their academic performance has with concentration. Academic performance is strongly related to academic performance and these cross-tabulations not only prove that but show how college students need to get adequate sleep to improve their academic performance. Sleep relationship with academic performance * More sleep the better my concentration Crosstabulation Count More sleep the better my concentration Strongly Strongly Agree Agree Neither Disagree Disagree Total Sleep relationship with academic Strongly 8 0 1 0 0 9 performance Agree Agree 3 19 1 0 0 23 Neither 0 7 2 0 1 10 Disagree 2 4 1 1 0 8
  • 40. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 40 Strongly 1 1 0 0 0 2 Disagree Total 14 31 5 1 1 52 Thirty-one students agreed and fourteen students strongly agreed that the “The more sleep I receive the better I can concentrate.” This shows that college students strongly see the correlation between their concentration and academic performance, which was discussed thoroughly in the literature reviews. Even though, college students value their sleep and academic performance, it appears that both are conflicting for them. Thirty-nine students said that they stayed up late to do homework and twenty-four students agreed and nine students strongly agreed that “I find myself doing homework when I should be sleeping.”
  • 41. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 41 Another surprising fact was the amount of students that found themselves falling asleep in class. During their class time, students should be staying awake since they value their academic studies as shown by the survey. If students are falling asleep in class, they may not value their academic studies to the degree that they stated in the survey. It was surprising that even four students strongly agreed and ten students agreed that they found themselves falling asleep in class. It was hypothesized before the study that students would realize the importance of alertness and concentration in class, and work to get efficient sleep so they were mentally prepared for class time. College students need to restructure their sleeping patterns, as shown in results section one, in order to achieve their desired academic results. By doing homework instead of sleeping, college students may not be able to concentrate to produce their best academic work. They may harm themselves if they use energy supplements to try to help them concentrate, which may take
  • 42. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 42 a toll on their health. If they fail to receive optimum sleep and develop adequate sleep patterns, their school work will not be sufficient and they will need to receive adequate sleep to render their problem. By looking at the hours of sleep per night, college students should realize they are not receiving enough sleep and they should work to increase their rest to concentrate better in class. To see the importance that sleep has on concentration look at the literature review. Academic pressures can be resolved by getting adequate sleep to further student’s concentration and improve their overall study skills. Part Three: The Effects of Sleep Aids and Energy Supplements I. Contradictions relating actually energy supplement use and the view that energy supplement use increasing in America. When asked how many energy drinks that actually drank per week, there was an overwhelming amount of zeros. However this is contradictory to our primary data and secondary data that stated that the use of energy supplements in America was increasing. Students that took our survey said that the use of energy supplements were increasing and then turned around and said they did not even use them. When asked how many and what energy drinks students drank on a per week basis, seventy-eight to one hundred percent answered no use on energy drinks at
  • 43. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 43 all. The brand with the highest amount of use was Monster but almost seventy-nine percent of answered with no use per week. However, four respondents (7.7%) answered that they drank two monsters a week while three respondents (5.8%) answered one per week. These tables show that energy supplement use in America is not increasing in college students. College students seem to avoid energy supplements because they feel that may be harmful to a person’s health. Monster Cumulative Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent Valid .00 41 78.8 78.8 78.8 1.00 3 5.8 5.8 84.6 2.00 4 7.7 7.7 92.3 3.00 2 3.8 3.8 96.2 4.00 1 1.9 1.9 98.1 7.00 1 1.9 1.9 100.0 Total 52 100.0 100.0 Redbull
  • 44. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 44 Cumulative Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent Valid .00 43 82.7 82.7 82.7 1.00 3 5.8 5.8 88.5 2.00 2 3.8 3.8 92.3 3.00 3 5.8 5.8 98.1 5.00 1 1.9 1.9 100.0 Total 52 100.0 100.0 Rockstar Cumulative Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent Valid .00 50 96.2 96.2 96.2 1.00 1 1.9 1.9 98.1 4.00 1 1.9 1.9 100.0 Total 52 100.0 100.0 Maxxx Cumulative Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent Valid .00 52 100.0 100.0 100.0 HourEnergy Cumulative Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent Valid .00 46 88.5 88.5 88.5 1.00 3 5.8 5.8 94.2 2.00 2 3.8 3.8 98.1 3.00 1 1.9 1.9 100.0 Total 52 100.0 100.0 II. Rare use of energy supplements stem from thought that they produce more harm than good.
  • 45. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 45 Most of the students we surveyed felt that energy supplements produce more harm than good. Also, there was an overwhelming amount of students that did not use energy supplements at all. This shows that the use of energy supplements by college students has been slowed by the thought of energy supplements being bad for your health. However, when asked if energy supplements made students crash there was a normal curve from strongly agree to strongly disagree. This shows that energy supplement crashes have a small effect of college students and their decision to use energy supplements. Energy supplement use increasing * Energy supplements produce more harm than good Cross tabulation Count Energy supplements produce more harm than good Strongly Strongly Agree Agree Neither Disagree Disagree Total Energy supplement use Strongly 4 6 6 2 0 18 increasing Agree Agree 2 11 9 4 0 26 Neither 2 0 1 1 1 5 Disagree 0 2 0 1 0 3 Total 8 19 16 8 1 52
  • 46. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 46 This next graph shows the data received on how college students felt about energy supplements desired negative and positive effects. Fifty-two percent of surveyed college students answered that they either strongly agree or agree that energy supplements produce more harm than good while only about seventeen percent strongly disagreed or disagreed.
  • 47. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 47 III. Sleep aid use is very uncommon among college students. The data that was collected made a very obvious point almost immediately. College students do not use sleep aids. Out of fifty-two respondents, only three replied affirmatively when asked if they used sleep aids. Only one person responded yes to both questions. This contradicted the hypothesized results that we expected to receive. Our secondary data indicated that young people rarely know if they have a sleep disorder and it is very uncommon for a college student to be diagnosed with a sleep disorder. It is rare, however, for anyone to get checked for a sleep disorder and more people should consider being checked. Sleep Aids * Sleep Disorder Cross tabulation Count Sleep Disorder No Yes Total Sleep No 47 2 49 Aids Yes 2 1 3 Total 49 3 52
  • 48. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 48 Part Four: The Knowledge of College Students about the Effects of Sleep I. College students believe they have a sufficient knowledge of sleep, yet, they do not apply this knowledge. College students overall agreed that they had sufficient knowledge of sleep. This can most evidently be seen in the statement “Sleep deprivation has many negative effects.” Although, this statement is very obvious, it cannot be under stressed. Especially, this cannot be under stressed for college students where there are many instances where they deprive themselves of sleep. There were only a few respondents in this survey that had extreme sleep deprivation illustrated in the hours they slept. Overall, though, the sleep college students receive is still not sufficient. They believe in sleeping over eight hours, they see the benefits in sleeping eight hours (all shown in the responses to the survey which can be seen in Questionnaire A2), but they do not sleep the eight hours per night. The average amount of sleep is always below eight hours and closer to seven. For students who need to concentrate and be alert, these numbers are inadequate and need to be looked into. For the statement
  • 49. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 49 “Sleep deprivation has many negative effects,” fourteen respondents strongly agreed and twenty-eight students agreed with this statement. This overwhelmingly majority illustrates that college students see the dangers in sleep deprivation especially, within the college environment A chart showing the responses for this statement as well as other charts showing students knowledge of sleep is shown in the appendix in charts C21-C26. The following cross tabulations show college students knowledge of sleep, knowledge of sleep deprivation, and knowledge of sleep effects. Knowledge of the effects of sleep * Knowledgeable about the sleep cycle Cross tabulation Count Knowledgeable about the sleep cycle Strongly Strongly Agree Agree Neither Disagree Disagree Total Knowledge of the effects of Strongly Agree 1 3 0 0 0 4 sleep Agree 3 10 5 3 0 21 Neither 1 4 6 0 0 11 Disagree 1 2 3 6 1 13 Strongly 1 1 0 0 1 3 Disagree Total 7 20 14 9 2 52 Sleep deprivation is an increasing issue * Sleep deprivation negative effects Cross tabulation Count Sleep deprivation negative effects Strongly Agree Agree Neither Disagree Total Sleep deprivation is an increasing issue Strongly Agree 6 1 0 2 9
  • 50. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 50 Agree 7 18 2 1 28 Neither 1 8 1 2 12 Disagree 0 1 0 0 1 Strongly Disagree 0 0 1 1 2 Total 14 28 4 6 52 Sleep deprivation is associated with mental disorders * Sleep deprivation is an increasing issue Cross tabulation Count Sleep deprivation is an increasing issue Strongly Strongly Agree Agree Neither Disagree Disagree Total Sleep deprivation is associated Strongly 4 5 1 0 0 10 with mental disorders Agree Agree 1 6 4 1 1 13 Neither 2 8 3 0 1 14 Disagree 2 8 2 0 0 12 Strongly 0 1 2 0 0 3 Disagree Total 9 28 12 1 2 52
  • 51. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 51 Sleep deprivation is associated with mental disorders * Sleep deprivation negative effects Cross tabulation Count Sleep deprivation negative effects Strongly Agree Agree Neither Disagree Total Sleep deprivation is associated with mental Strongly Agree 9 1 0 0 10 disorders Agree 2 9 1 1 13 Neither 1 11 1 1 14 Disagree 2 7 1 2 12 Strongly 0 0 1 2 3 Disagree Total 14 28 4 6 52 II. General knowledge about the effects of sleep and the hazardous effects of sleep deprivation. College students believe they have sufficient knowledge about the effects of sleep and negative effects of sleep deprivation. Nine students strongly agree and twenty-eight students agree that “Sleep deprivation is an increasing issue in America today.” This statement is absolutely true and sleep deprivation is increasing in America today. Secondary data shows that sleep deprivation has hazardous effects that many people are completely unaware of. Four people strongly agreed and twenty-one people agreed that “I have sufficient knowledge of the effects of sleep.” These numbers even seen large according to the little knowledge the secondary data stated people have on the subject. The sleep cycle is also an area that people do not have adequate knowledge about. Surprisingly, in the data collected seven people
  • 52. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 52 strongly agreed and twenty people agreed with the statement “I am knowledgeable about the sleep cycle.” College students do appear to be knowledgeable about the harmful effects of energy supplements and their increasing use in America, but their knowledge of the effects of sleep has been brought into question. As shown in the literature review, a lack of sleep and obesity are related, and although many did, quite a few students did not realize this relationship. Obesity and its relationship to sleep is currently being researched further to determine the exact relationship, although hormones are definitely key to understanding this relationship. Without sufficient knowledge of the hormones that are in play in when sleeping, it is hard to believe that college students have sufficient knowledge of the relationship that obesity and sleep have to one another. This is similar to the college students who agreed that “Sleep deprivation is associated with mental disorders.” Most individuals in this statements replied with neither because this is not common knowledge unless the respondent has researched this topic. It was also rare that so many people had knowledge about the sleep cycle because of its complex nature. Unless one has researched the sleep cycle it is also hard to believe that one would have sufficient knowledge of how it works. An overwhelming agreement that college students are absolutely correct on, is the extreme severity of sleep deprivation and the negative effects that can come out of such things. It is important that college students see the hazardous effects of sleep deprivation and warn others so that they are aware of the true harm that can result. III. Sleep disorders are rarely treated and they can have significant negative effects. The last point we made in this research project was that sleep disorders are rarely treated and they can have many negative effects. Many college students that may have a sleep
  • 53. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 53 disorder would never know or be oblivious to its existence. They find themselves overwhelmed with homework, tests, and other miscellaneous activities all the time on every day. A sleep disorder can have a serious effect on a college student because sleep is very important to everyone, especially someone as active as a college student. Three students stated they had a sleep disorder and three students said they used sleep aids. Two of the three students stated narcolepsy as their sleep disorder. Sleep disorders are rare and commonly go untreated, according to the secondary data on the subject. The secondary data shows that many people may never seek treatment for the sleep disorders and this may be illustrated through the data collected. There were extreme cases where respondents slept very few hours per night. This is unhealthy and dangerous. The negative effects of sleep disorders are illustrated in-depth in the literature review. These negative effects need to be made public so that individuals go seek treatment for their sleep disorder and live healthier lives.
  • 54. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 54 Discussion Our discussion section will focus on the major points of the research we have conducted. The first result obtained was that college students view sleep as a priority, yet, they feel they do not receive enough sleep. If college students view sleep is a priority they should be getting enough sleep because it is important to them. It is obvious that other activities are much more important such as watching TV and doing homework. College students today need to start getting more sleep or determine how much of a priority sleeping really is to them. The next point focused on is that college students believe they need more sleep, but their desire for adequate sleep appears insincere. If college students really wanted to sleep enough they need to begin to let go of some of the other things that keep them from sleeping. Adequate sleep seems to be ranged between seven and eight hours by the college students we surveyed yet most of them rarely received that much sleep on a regular day. How important can sleep be to college students if they are not receiving the required amount of sleep each night? The third point discussed was the fact that according to the data, college students sleep patterns are significantly interrupted by watching TV/movies, doing homework, going on the computer, drinking/partying, and hanging out with their friends. The graphs and tables shown for this point make it clear that these activities severely affect the amount of sleep college students received. Students should try to avoid these activities at nighttime when they should be sleeping and manage their time better if they want to do some of these activities and sleep the required amount as well.
  • 55. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 55 The last point on college students and sleep is that the academic pressures of college take a substantial toll on students sleep patterns. A large amount of the students that completed the survey found that homework affected their sleep pattern. They also replied that they agreed that the more sleep they received the better they could concentrate. Finally the data suggested that most college students felt that the amount of sleep they received had a direct effect on their academic performance. Energy supplement and sleep aid use was the second part of this research project. After we realized the contradictions relating actually energy supplement use and the view that energy supplement use increasing in America that continued to arise, we found a way to focus on that. The main point here is that many of the students recognized that energy supplement use was increasing but they responded that they actually did not use them at all. How can you say that use of something is increasing when you, yourself, are not using them? The next point involving energy supplements was that rare use of energy supplements by college students stem from thought that they produce more harm than good. Many college students replied that they agreed that energy supplements produce more harm than good while very little disagreed. However, when asked if energy supplements kept them awake or made students crash the responses were evenly spread from strongly agree to strongly disagree with a lot of neither in the middle. The major conclusion here was that there was an overwhelming reply to the thought of energy supplements producing more harm than good, but when the actually negative effects were considered they did not have much effect at all.
  • 56. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 56 Another major point of this research project involved the use of sleep aids by college students. Sleep aid use is very uncommon among college students. Sleep aid use was practically non- existent when reviewing the data. This data really surprised us because we felt that many students would use sleep aids because of random illnesses or the inability to sleep when it was necessary. In college you have to sleep when you can and if you miss a chance to sleep you may find yourself walking around like a zombie for most of the day. Another point this project focused on was that even though college students believe they have a sufficient knowledge of sleep, they refuse to apply this knowledge and find ways to get enough sleep. Even though many of the sample respondents felt that their knowledge of sleep was rather good, they found themselves staying up late on weekdays and receiving inadequate sleep most nights. The conclusion here is that they do not have significant knowledge of negative and positive effects of sleep or they just do not care about sleep as much as they do about other activities such as TV and homework. Do college students have a general knowledge about the effects of sleep and the hazardous effects of sleep deprivation? According to the data we collected, they do. Many students felt that they had general significant knowledge of the sleep cycle itself and the negative and traumatizing effects of sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation is a serious problem that can cause fatigue and drowsiness that can cause college students to lose concentration regarding their studies and have a lot of effect of their overall academic performance. The last point we made in this research project was that sleep disorders are rarely treated and they can have significant negative effects. Many college students that may have a sleep disorder would never know. They find themselves overwhelmed with homework, tests, and other
  • 57. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 57 miscellaneous activities. A sleep disorder can have a serious effect on a college student because sleep is so important to everyone, especially someone as active as a college student.
  • 58. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 58 Conclusions and recommendations College students need to better evaluate their sleep patterns. It is clear from this study that college students have inadequate sleep patterns. The sleep patterns of college students are debilitating and can lead to harmful health effects in the long-run. The results from the college students in the sample of this survey were better than the results of the general population. It was hypothesized that college students would sleep even less, and definitely take much more energy supplements. It was also hypothesized that they would use more sleep aids. Only three students used sleep aids and only three students had been diagnosed with a sleep disorder. Sleep disorders are rarely diagnosed and are much more prevalent than many believe them to be. Sleep disorders are rarely diagnosed because it is very infrequent that someone would go to the doctor solely for a sleep disorder. It would be recommended that college students go to the doctor if they feel that they may have a sleep disorder. As shown in the literature review, sleep disorders are best to be treated early because they can become problematic in the long-run. College students view sleep as a priority and prefer to sleep over eight hours, except the actual data in the survey shows that they average around seven hours per night. They also made it clear that certain activities interrupt their sleeping patterns including watching TV/movies, doing homework, going on the computer, drinking/partying, and hanging out with their friends. Watching TV and movies and doing homework were the most common reasons for why college students stay up late. Many of students agreed that the academic pressures of college put excess stress on them and caused them to get less sleep. Most students felt that school affected their sleep schedule as well as that their sleep has a strong relationship with their academic performance. With such overwhelming agreement in these categories, college students should
  • 59. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 59 learn to improve their sleeping patterns in order to cope with their academic pressures. It is important for college students to evaluate their sleeping patterns, especially when their sleeping patterns are negatively affecting their academic capabilities. As a result of the data collected, it would be recommended that colleges hold seminars and workshops to help students learn about the benefits that changing their sleeping patterns could have on their academic success. It would also be recommended that students keep a journal of the amount of sleep they experience per night, the adequacy of the sleep, what got in the way of the sleep during the day, and how they can improve their sleeping habits in the near future. Energy supplement and sleep aid use was very infrequent in the data collected. There was overwhelming agreement that the use of energy supplement use in America was increasing. This was strange because very few people used energy supplements in this study. The energy supplement use in this survey contradicted the increasing use of energy supplements that was answered in the Likert scale questions and the secondary data available on the topic. From careful analysis of secondary data on this topic, it is clear that energy supplement use is increasing. But, it did correlate that college students viewed energy supplements as causing more harm than good and the crashing after their use, would cause them not to use these supplements. It has been recommended that energy supplements and sleep aids promote the true effects of their products to consumers. For example, energy supplements should be clearly expressed to consumers as what they truly are rather than the magic pill they are sometimes expressed to be. Energy supplement use is expected to be extremely popular in college campuses and universities according to secondary data. But, in the data gathered through this study, Rowan University students do not appear to use energy supplements. The use of energy supplements at Rowan University appears to be very infrequent and Rowan University would not be a good college to
  • 60. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 60 promote these supplements to. Energy supplement use at Rowan University is much lower than originally projected and this is good news because of the harmful effects associated with these supplements. It would be recommended that other students emulate Rowan University’s infrequent use of energy supplements. College students believe they have sufficient knowledge about the effects of sleep. It is clear that college students see the benefits of sleep and how important it is to coping with the academic pressures of college, according to the data collected. Unfortunately, from the data in our study, college students are not applying their knowledge of sleep. It is surprising that people had knowledge about the sleep cycle and sleep deprivation, when secondary data said it was an area where people generally didn’t have knowledge. In accordance with our first research objective, college students should be applying their knowledge about sleep in order to leader healthier and happier lifestyles. Most of the respondents agree that sleep deprivation is an increasing issue, sleep is a priority, and that they need adequate sleep to function at their optimal level. With such agreement on these statements, it is strange that they prefer to sleep over eight hours yet, the average hours were around seven. College students were also able to cite why they stay up late as explained earlier. College students see what gets in the way of their sleep and they need to learn to overcome those temptations. It would be recommended that college students attend a seminar on the effects of sleep and the dangers of sleep deprivation. They should also attend a seminar on time management and how to better schedule the activities that interrupt their sleep schedules such as watching TV/movies, going on the computer, drinking/partying, and hanging out with friends. If college students can learn to budget their time during the day, they will be able to receive adequate sleep each night to live healthier lives into the future.
  • 61. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 61 Limitations of the Study There were multiple limitations for this study. Some of which included the fact that many of the sample population ended up being an overwhelming amount of seniors and business majors because those are the people we came into the most contact with here at Rowan University. The fact that the study was given out in our classes and the Bunce computer lab guaranteed this limitation, however, it was an unavoidable one. Also, more male students were willing and able to fill out our questionnaire which added even more bias and gender related limitations. It would have also been beneficial if we could have surveyed recent graduates so comparisons could be made between the difference in their sleep habits and the sleep habits of present students. This was impossible due to the fact that we did not have availability to mail records of former students and there was absolutely no way to get in touch with them. Another limitation is the fact that many students may have been embarrassed to admit sleep disorders or the use of sleep aids and energy supplements. It was hypothesized that there was going to be much more use of energy supplements and sleep aids because of our secondary data. Also, many students may not have realized how many times per week they used energy supplements which may have had a great impact on questions #39 - 43. An important limitation to mention was definitely the amount of time to conduct this survey. The time factor effected how many surveys were able to have completed which reduced the sample size. Time is always a factor when a study is being done and half a semester is definitely not enough time to complete an efficient study of college students and their sleep habits.
  • 62. The Effect of Sleep on College Students 62 The lack of range in this study is also a limitation. The fact that only Rowan University students were represented in the survey and the fact that that we didn’t have the time, ability, or opportunity to survey students from other schools may have generated biased results. Other colleges may have found that their students were using much more sleep aids and energy supplements then originally predicted. Rowan University did not use many energy supplements or sleep aids at all, which goes against much of our secondary date. The culture of Rowan University was definitely a limiting factor. The results may have been more based on the actual population if we surveyed other colleges as well.
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