SLEEPING HABITS AT ADOLESCENCE AND ITS INFLUENCE ON LEARNING
, V. Blanco2
, D. Ferrandez1
, A. Payan1
, M.P. Ramos3
1Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (SPAIN)
2Instituto de Educación Secundaría Gustavo Adolfo Becquer (SPAIN)
3Institución Profesional Salesiana (Salesianos Carabanchel) (SPAIN)
Teenagers have a reputation for staying up late and being difficult to wake them up in the mornings. But this is not, necessarily, because they are testing the limits or rebeling against the rules. Actually, this behavioural pattern has a biological reason, due to during adolescence circadian rhythms are displaced with regard to childhood.
Most teenagers need, approximately, nine sleeping hours each night to maintain the optimal state of alert during the day. But, really, only a few of them get this amount of sleep regularly. This fact is due to factors such as morning lectures, homework and extracurricular activities, social demands and the use of mobile phones, computers and other electronic devices.
Sleep deprivation or poor sleep quality could have important consequences. Tired teenagers could have concentration or learning difficulties including problems in keeping them awake at the classroom. Poor or fragmented sleep is associated with behavioural and cognitive problems, with a reduction of academic and learning achievements. However, this diminution at neurocognitive working is reversible by means of healthy sleep hours, setting schedule of sleeping and limiting psychosocial and environmental pressure.
Lots of parents have warned in several surveys, of problems related with sleeping habits in their children. TV, internet, mobile phones and caffeine beverages impact on adolescent sleep. Keeping good sleep hygiene favours our students’ academic performance and improves their health.
There is a twofold objective in this work. Firstly, a theoretical framework is carried out, based on inquiries and studies made by several experts in the influence of sleep habits over people’s lives, focusing on features of sleep at adolescence and how it affects to learning aptitude of the students. Secondly, an “in situ” study was carried out by means of questionnaires that allowed us to evaluate general sleeping habits in our teenage students, taking for this purpose, a sample of 78 students from 1º E.S.O. (ages from 12 to 13 years old).