Congratulations to Carly Roderick, Irene Kamikazi, Daniel Madden, and Nishi Desai from the MCPHS School of Nursing – Boston campus who presented their scholarship at the Massachusetts American Nurses Association Spring Conference on April 7, 2017. Please read their abstract below:
Physiological and Psychological Effects of Sleep Deprivation in Young Adults: A Comprehensive Literature Review
Background: Sleep is an important component of one’s overall wellbeing and sufficient sleep is needed to perform daily activities of life and to be emotionally, mentally, and physically stable. According to the National Institute of Health (2012), adequate sleep allows for proper brain function, knowledge acquisition, and good physical health, with proper sleep decreasing the risk for obesity and supporting healthy growth and development. It is essential for young adults and health care providers to be aware that a disturbance in the sleep cycle can impair normal physiological and psychological functioning. According to a study conducted by the National Adolescent and Young Adult Health Information Center (2011), approximately one third of young adults reported getting an insufficient amount of sleep. Sleep deprivation is becoming more common in the young adult population.
Aim: The purpose of this comprehensive literature review was to summarize the physiological and psychological effects of sleep deprivation in young adults obtained from primary research reports published within the last 5 years.
Methods: Research was conducted using the databases Medline and CINAHL from September 2016 until October 2016. The keywords used when researching included: “sleep deprivation,” “young adults,” “physiological effects,” and “psychological effects.”
Results: The search resulted in gathering a total of twenty quantitative, qualitative and mixed articles and were critiqued individually. The physiological effects of sleep deprivation cited within these research articles included body sway, vigilance, cardiac function, memory, facial recognition, and academic performance. The psychological effects of sleep deprivation cited within these research articles included anxiety and depression.
Implications for nursing: Knowledge of the signs of sleep deprivation will allow the nurse to accommodate the patient’s plan of care accordingly. By being aware of the signs and the dangers of sleep deprivation, the nurse caring for a young adult can better prioritize care and produce the best possible outcomes for the patients. In addition to having sleep-deprived patients, nurses are often faced with the negative effects of sleep-deprivation themselves that put themselves and their patients’ lives at risk.