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Persuasive Speech for Students’ Chronic Sleep Deprivation

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A. Attention Getting Opening: Over the past ten to twenty years, academic demands placed upon college students have increased significantly, this has lead to an increase in workload and amount of time needed to study for a specific course. Today, college students represent the most sleep-deprived division of the population in the U.S. (“Sleep and Memory”). According to Gayla Martindale, 63% percent of the students who attend college do not get enough sleep, which in turns causes 15% percent of these students to fall asleep during class. Sleep deprivation has become a serious problem in the life of students that leads to physiological and psychological impairments, instigates the use of stimulants, and has a negative effect upon the student’s grade point average. B. Reason audience will be interested in this speech:

The purpose of this report is to present research on the physiological and psychological effects of sleep deprivation and stimulants on college students and to recommend, based on the overwhelming evidence that sleep deprivation has negative consequences, that New Mexico State University ban the scheduling of any classes before 9am. Sleep deprivation is a serious problem resulting from an increase in academic demands placed upon college students. Loss of sleep leads to physiological and psychological impairments, instigates the use of stimulants, and has negative effects upon the student’s grade point average. Therefore, the university should recognize the prominence of sleep deprivation among its student body. C. Thesis Statement: This report examines the effects of sleep deprivation on college students, and that New Mexico State University bans classes from beginning before 9am. D. Overview:

1. Main Point A: The phycological consequences of sleep deprivation on college students and the impact of it. 2. Main Point B: The psychological consequences of sleep deprivation on college students and the effects of it. 3. Main Point C: The use of stimulants is becoming a dependency for most college students with sleep deprivation. 4. Main Point D: And the effect that it has on the students Grade Point Average (GPA).

Transition: I am first going to talk to you about the Physiological consequences of sleep deprivation. Body:
A. Main Point A: Physiological consequences of sleep deprivation may appear to be minimal at first, but after examining closely the various side effects, it is very clear that a student depriving their body of rest is extremely harmful. 1. Subpoint 1: Fatigue in general is typically the primary result from lack of sleep. Dozing off and heavy feeling eyelids while reading, and sitting in classes or meetings will occur. Serious consequences are also prominent with sleep deprivation. It effects the production of white blood cells that decreases within the body, and also effects the activity of the remaining white blood cells (Martindale). 2. Subpoint 2: As a result of this, the body has a weakened immune system, thus increasing the body’s susceptibility to types of illness.

In addition to a weakened immune system, the secretory patterns of appetite regulating hormones are altered. In some cases the appetite will increase which may promote weight gain and obesity (Doghramji). 3. Subpoint 3: The physical side effects of sleep deprivation can also be detrimental to a person’s health and people of the college age. College students already have large amounts of stress factors placed upon them. Any physical ailments immediately inhibits their ability to concentrate, learn, and retain material. Therefore, the physical consequences of sleep deprivation are directly linked to the psychological effects.

Transition: The next effect is the psychological effect.
A. Main Point B: Unlike psychological effects the psychological consequences of sleep deprivation have the most significant impact upon a college student. These effects are directly related to how well the student retains, learns, and recalls class material. 1. Subpoint 1: The most common psychological effects include increase anxiety, impaired concentration and memory retrieval, irritability, depression, moodiness, and slow thinking time (Martindale). 2. Subpoint 2: Those people who deprive their bodies of less than six to seven hours of sleep per night impair their psychomotor performance, and neurocognitive thinking, such as a reduction in attention, concentration, critical thinking, and memory. 3. Subpoint 3: Many of these effects can cause a student’s academic performance to diminish, resulting in a poor grade point average (Doghramji). Nevertheless, academic demands influence students to find ways to ignore and repress the signs of sleep deprivation.

Transition: The ways that students repress sleep deprivation is by using Stimulants. A. Main Point C: For a college student the most common way to repress the signs of sleep deprivation is through the consumption of stimulants. For student caffeine is typically the preferred stimulant to use because it is cheap and easily accessible in various products. But the product of choice are energy drinks. 1. Subpoint 1: Energy drinks are designed to give the consumer an energy kick through a combination of B vitamins, caffeine, amino acids, herbal extracts, and sugar offshoots. However, the amount of caffeine in these drinks are incredibly high. One energy drink typically contains 80 to 141 milligrams of caffeine per eight ounces, this is the equivalent of two twelve ounce cans of caffeinated soda.

2. Subpoint 2: Consuming large amounts of caffeine, such as an energy drinks, is detrimental to the consumer’s (in this case Students) health. Cardiovascular, central nervous system, renal dysfunctions, gastrointestinal, and chronic headaches are all associated with consuming caffeine regularly, yet college students still do it. According to Malinauskas’ study, 67% percent of college aged consumers dictated that insufficient sleep was their reason for consuming the highly caffeinated drink. The kick of energy provided by the drinks aids students in concentration and increases their alertness, which allows a brief improvement of mental functioning (Malinauskas). 3. Subpoint 3: This may appear to be an effective way of boosting one’s energy, the negative health issues associated with caffeine cannot be ignored. Sleep deprived students consumption of energy drinks are simply hurting their bodies more and more.

Transition: The combination of sleep deprivation and the side effects of energy drinks can ultimately lead to a strong impact on a college student’s grades. A. Main Point A: Among college students sleep deprivation is a serious problem. This is not only because their health is at risk but also because their academic performance is at risk. 1. Subpoint 1: Inadequate amounts of sleep negatively affects the three distinct learning processes: acquisition, consolidation, and recall. Acquisition is the process in which the brain receives information and stores it as memory. This is affected because the students inability to gather information and focus. Recall is the process that the brain accesses and uses the stored information. Impaired retrieval of memory is affected. The process in the brain where connections are strengthened so that memories become easy to remember is consolidation (“Sleep and Memory”).

2. Subpoint 2: Consolidation is impacted the most out of the three due to sleep deprivation because of the loss of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. Students who get less then eight hours of sleep a night miss some of the last two hours of REM. Those last two hours of REM are the most important for processing newly learned material. As a result of this, the rate at which the new material is learned and understood is reduced (Doghramji). 3. Subpoint 3: Students with late bed times but early morning classes shows evidence of learning process impairment. These students typically receive less than the recommended 8.5 hours of nightly sleep which leads to sleep deprivation. Inability to concentrate and tiredness consequently leads to lower test scores at exam time (Park). Therefore, the test scores and grade point averages of sleep deprived students do not reflect their intelligence; rather it reflects the amount of sleep they have received.

A. Summary:
1. First, I covered the physiological consequences of sleep deprivation of college students. 2. Second, I went over psychological consequences of sleep deprivation. 3. Third, I explained the use of stimulants that college students use. 4. And Finally, I went over how sleep deprivation could effect your GPA. B. Clincher: Every school (Especially NMSU) should ban the scheduling of any classes before 9am. Such an action would allow students to be fully awake and alert. This would provide them the opportunity to learn the material and perform at their maximum level without sleep deprivation interference. In addition, banning classes from starting before 9am would give students more time to sleep and reduce, if not eliminate, any sleep deprivation. Their physical and mental health would improve and the use of stimulants and energy drinks would also decrease.

Doghramji,, Paul P. “SLEEP PROBLEMS IN COLLEGE STUDENTS.” Web. 20 Oct. 2011. . Malinauskas, Brenda M., Victor G. Aeby, Reginald F. Overton, Tracy Carpenter-Aeby, and Kimberly Barber-Heidal. “A Survey of Energy Drink Consumption Patterns among College Students.” Nutrition Journal 6.1 (2007): 35-39. Print. Martindale, Gayla. “Sleep Deprivation – A Common Occurrence for College Students – StateUniversity.com Blog.” Online University Degree Search. Web. 20 Oct. 2011. . Park, Alice. “Larks and Owls: How Sleep Habits Affect Grades – TIME.” TIME Health. TIME Magazine, 10 June 2009. Web. 20 Oct. 2011. . “Sleep and Memory.” Get Sleep. Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, 16 Dec. 2008. Web. 22 Oct. 2011. .

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