Studies about Sleep and Memory:
Our ability to remember is related to our ability to learn, and there have been many studies about sleep and its effectson memory, learning, and retention. These studies suggest that good sleep habits are essential to good study habits.
• One study about learning languages shows that it is good to study right beforegoing to sleep because "there is near-consensus that sleep promotes learning of certain types of perceptual memories."
• Another study shows that sleep strengthens memories so they become clear andresistant to interferences and distractions.
These studies show that sleep is important, but also suggest that it may be most helpful to study right before bed time. Chronic sleep deprivationcan have dramatic effects on a teenager’s life, including reduced academic performance at school.
Causes of sleep deprivation
Some of the reasons why many teenagers regularly do not get enoughsleep include:
• Hormonal time shift – puberty hormones shift the teenager’s body clock forward by about one or two hours, making them sleepier one to two hours later.
• Hectic after-school schedule –homework, sport, part-time work and social commitments can cut into a teenager’s sleeping time.
• Leisure activities – the lure of stimulating entertainment such as television, the Internet andcomputer gaming can keep a teenager out of bed.
• Sleep disorder – sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome or sleep apnea, can affect how much sleep a teenager gets. Also lack of oxygen atnight, and some snores.
Effects of sleep deprivation
The developing brain of teenager needs between nine and 10 hours of sleep every night. The effects of chronic sleep deprivation may include: