Posted by: frodas | May 3, 2010

Disciplinary Research Project: Rough Draft

Initially, I had the intention to research a question regarding the possible career paths as a Finance major. This seemed like a good topic to research, but I realized that attending a career fair would be more adequate to inform me of such question. Browsing through the online databases of DePaul, I found difficulty to gather more than two sources with accessible text for some of the alternate questions I wanted to use. I remember hearing many people in class using psychology based questions for their projects.

Looking through all the available online sources, psychology was one of the categories listed in DePaul’s databases which include a wide variety of articles, databases, and journals on this topic. All I had to do now was come up with a question I was truly interested in pertaining to psychology. Thinking back to when I was taking psychology in High School, sleep deprivation was a topic briefly covered which has now become more relevant to my life. As a college student I find myself staying up later due to the increased amount of work needed to be fit in every day. This has made me wonder about the affects my body faces when I lack sleep. Narrowing this wasn’t difficult as I am most interested to know more about the relationship between sleep deprivation and student’s education. My research question has been broken down to the following: how does a lack of sleep affect the ability for students to learn?

The first article I found was through DePaul’s online database written by Karen Banks called “What Research Says About Teenagers And Sleep”. The author of this article states that when deprived of sleep the most common consequence for students are memory lapses. Through scientifically backed research, Banks extensively covers the mental effects students face from the lack of sleep while acknowledging that as we get older there’s more work and less sleep causing a major issue in education. The purpose of the research conducted is to connect the lack of sleep to “emotional, intellectual and social lives of teens” in order to inform the reader on the importance of sleep as we mature. I know that this article is credible because the information is being used for the US Department of Education to have scientific evidence on the issue of sleep deprivation in students.

Some of the major affects discussed by Banks include changes with hormonal, metabolic and stress levels associated with lack of sleep. During sleep the brain releases a hormone called melatonin which by the 8th to 9th hour of adequate sleeping time the hormone drops back to its normal day time level causing someone to become wide awake. While in class, when a student is constantly sleep-deprived, the brain tried to make that up my dozing off and micro sleeps. Many individuals find themselves trying very hard to stay awake at some of our morning classes. I recently learned that those times when you suddenly fall asleep are referred to micro sleeps and memory lapses. They are called micro sleeps because your brain literally falls asleep due to withholding of sleep. Besides dozing off sleep deprivation can have a negative impact while trying to retain new information. When remembering new material for an upcoming exam, having a wide awake memory is essential in order to do well. According to Banks, sleep deprivation can have many consequences besides just bad memory. Some of the side effects include attention deficit, a depressed mood and slower reaction time. While these are only just a few, other things that should be easy when our minds are fully awake become harder the more tired they are. It clearly tells us how about seventy five percent of all teenagers are not getting the proper amount of sleep a night. Students that are not completely out puberty are at their peak for hormonal changes. This tends to make it harder for them to go to sleep at an appropriate time and wake up at the time needed.

My research question is relevant to many people in my age group and to students who face similar circumstances. It’s essential that college students understand the correlation between sleep and how it affects their studies. This might be the reason behind why some of us can’t seem to learn anything from our morning classes as our memory struggles to remember new material taught in class because of the insufficient amount of sleep from the night before.

Another great source comes from the article “Lack of Sleep Could be Trouble for CTE Students”, written by Garry Scarpello. In this article Scarpello suggests that the lack of sleep can have very harmful effects on the body. His writing is developed by first introducing us with the adequate amount of sleep needed and then proceeds by sharing some of the negative effects in our memory, hormones, and metabolism as due to a lack of sleep. He provides us with all the negatives in order to expose the benefits of restoring the body with adequate sleep. “A from the Archives of Disease in Childhood from the United Kingdom, found that lack of sleep could affect a person’s metabolic balance, which may increase the chances of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.” Also, this article reveals the fact that about seventy five percent of all teenagers are not getting the proper amount of sleep a night. Students that are not completely out puberty are at their peak for hormonal changes. This tends to make it harder for them to go to sleep at an appropriate time and wake up at the time needed. (continue to expand)

(add another high quality source, or add support on to previous paragraph)

(Include two interviews)

Overall, my research will help inform students about the importance of proper sleep. I want students who struggle to learn in school to ask themselves if they feel a difference in their academics when they get a sufficient amount of sleep. As a result, they will become aware of the significance sleeping has on their learning abilities. We all know how hard it is to maintain a good GPA, and if getting better sleep will help individuals do better in school, then this issue must be addressed to those who don’t understand the true value behind a good night’s sleep.



  1. Dear Fernando,

    So far the essay is looking pretty good. I was not sure if everything was actually the essay or was it just an introduction for the class. When you discuss micro sleep and other problems associated with sleep, try to define the terms directly after you mention them so that the reader can stay with the entire time. The information sounds well researched but it sort of sounds too much like facts as if I’m reading an encyclopedia. Try to make it more interesting with perhaps quotes from sources.


  2. In paragraph 3- instead of saying backed by scientific research I would share the research with us.

    I really like how you share why and who it is relevant to.

    It’s a great start….my largest concern is that it seems to read more like a narrative of your research and less like you delivering the findings of your research.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: