Lack of Sleep
- Pages: 4
- Word count: 849
- Category: Sleep Deprivation
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College students across the globe display a constant complaint of sleep deprivation and alack of concentration. A 2010 Journal of Adolescent Health study reports that 60% of collegestudents lacked good-quality sleep, in accordance with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and infact, consumed prescription drugs in order to assist in the effects of their poor sleep habits (Lund,Prichard, Reider, Whiting). As of 2014, a study from Nature and Science of Sleep explains that70% of college students do not receive adequate sleep, which can decrease their grade pointaverages, as well as hinder their ability to learn, particularly in the field of memory (Chervin,Hershner). Thus, it can be concluded that sleep deprivation hinders brain activity.The human brain is the center of activity and control in the body.
With billions ofneurons producing countless action potentials per second, this organ is full of electrical activity.The scientific community utilizes Electroencephalography (EEG) in order to measure theelectrical activity within this center of the nervous system. In completing anElectroencephalogram, electrodes are applied to measure the characteristics of waves exhibitedby the brain. Alpha (α) brain waves are displayed when a subject is in a relaxed state (emanatesfrom occipital lobe), while beta (β) waves are exhibited during intense concentration (emanatesfrom frontal lobe). Frequency (Hz) and amplitude (V) are two main factors for determining wave Massey 2category and characteristics. As exemplified by beta waves (13-30 Hz) displaying higherfrequencies than alpha waves (8-12 Hz), and beta waves describing a brain in a more hyperactivestate, higher frequencies are a result of a more active neural system. Similar to frequency, a highamplitude is also associated with an increased mental activity (Kipp, Tomicek, Waters).Thereby, if sleep deprivation inhibits cognitive activity, and cognitive ability is translatedvia beta waves, this experiment planned to study beta waves in a population of regularly sleepdeprived individuals: college students. Focusin, a drug reported to enhance brain activity, wastested on these individuals. To determine if Focusin succeeded in assisting the students in theirconcentration, the drug was hypothesized to increase amplitude and frequency of beta waves,thereby improving their cognitive ability. If this drug achieves increasing beta waves, then sleepdeprived students, as well as individuals with Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)will endure an less difficult experience concentrating, pertaining to both school and theiroccupations. People of interest include students, individuals diagnosed with ADHD, parents, anddoctors, though it is not recommended that a student substitute this stimulant for sleep.MethodsThis experiment measured brain waves via electroencephalography (EEG). In order torun the electroencephalography device, the Powerlab device provided wires leading toelectrodes, converting data into EEG format and analysis. The Lab Tutor program provided notonly instructions, but it is linked to the Powerlab device in order to display the EEG waves. Oncethe subjects (100) applied the electrodes to the desired locations (left and right halves of
Massey 3forehead, back of skull near occipital lobe) and the conductive paste to the posterior cranialelectrode, the head wrap was applied in order to maintain the positions of the electrodes.Subjects (100) included Pennsylvania State University students, ranging from 18-22years in age. Subjects have undergone a series of trials in a controlled setting, mandating analternating series of sleep schedules in order to establish constant beta waves according to aspecifically timed night’s sleep. The duration of each subject’s data collection period is a total oftwelve days. The first of four trials began with eight hours of sleep per night for three nights inorder to establish a regulated circadian rhythm. Upon wake, electroencephalography electrodeswere applied to the subject’s left and right halves of the forehead, as well as an electrode on theposterior skull near the occipital lobe. A simple algebra test was administered, consisting of fivequestions, daily. Examples are below.
Equation #1: 3x + 5 = 17
Equation #2: 10x + 7= 107
Equation #3: 5x + 8 = 88
Equation 4: 2y – 8 = 10
Equation 5: 11y + 10 = 54
Amid the duration of the exam, beta waves were measured via the electroencephalogram.After the initial three days of ideal sleep conditions and daily algebra tests, the next trialdescribed a period of sleep deprivation, specifically three nights with six hours of sleep per nightwith the daily regiment of algebra questions measuring beta brain waves. This deprivation period. Massey measured brain activity of the sleep deprived subject via EEG, without the administration of thedrug, Focusin. This trial served as the control trial/group. This deprivation stage was continuedwith a three day period of eight hours of sleep per night with daily exams and EEG datacollection in order to return the subject to a regular circadian schedule. Finally, with the subject’saverage sleep data and circadian schedule, the students underwent a three day period of sleepdeprivation with daily administration of Focusin upon wake, before the algebra exam. This finaltrial served as the experimental trial/group. In the last period, EEG data was collected inaccordance with the algebra exam and compared with the previous three day deprivation period.This was conducted in order to determine the effects of Focusin on mental concentration andbeta waves. The subjects were compensated $2,000 each, following each twelve day course.