Sleep research

Published: 2018-04-03 21:48:34
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Sleep study method

Design

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The experiment employed a quantitative approach in evaluating the effects of sleep quantities regarding sleeping hours for seven days on the cognitive performance of the individual. The ability to memorize and jot down read out numbers in a particular order was used as validation. The experiment involved two independent variables, the quantity of sleep in the last 24 hours and the quantity of sleeping the last seven days. The dependent variable was the measure of the cognitive performance and memory of the participants. These variables will be used to determine the correlations and the effect of accumulated sleep debt on the performance of an individual for twenty-four hours and seven days.

Participants

The results were obtained through interviews with students in the onshore cohort at Murdoch Campus. The a hundred and thirty six participants had an average age of 25.49 with the youngest participant being eighteen years of age and the oldest fifty six years In conducting the interview and experiment several uncontrollable variables like the time of their classes, their circadian cycle, their compensatory behavior and their health and emotion factors. The participants were involved in evaluating their memory with regard to the effects of their sleep quantities using the digit span test.

Materials

The research employed the use of experiments and psychological and cognitive tests. The students also filled questionnaires regarding their demographic backgrounds and their sleeping patterns within the past seven days. The results obtained were then recorded and further analyzed. The instructor of the students read out numbers in a particular order as the students listened and later wrote down.

Procedure

In the digit span test, the students read out the digits provided in a monotone voice and at a speed of about one digit per second. The reading out was followed by writing of the same digits by each of the participants. Therefore after each reading, the students were required to write the digits they remembered in that order. In the next phase of the experiment, the students calculated the memory span of each other. The instructor read the digits once more as they marked their work which they had written down initially. To assess the credibility of the results an item was rendered incorrect if any one of the digits in the series was wrongly placed. The possible lengths of each correct series were then established.

After four trials, the students calculated the average of their correct series for the four trials and used it as the average memory span. The averages were then recorded on the data sheets where they had initially recorded their sleeping patterns for the last seven days and their demographic information.

Sleep study results and calculations

Descriptive data, frequencies, and correlations were calculated for the set of data obtained and presented as below.

Number

Range

Minimum

Maximum

Mean

Std. Deviation

Age

136

38

18

56

25.49

8.361

Average Sleep

136

5.43

4.86

10.29

7.4149

0.92524

Night Before

136

9.00

3.00

12.00

7.1588

1.71030

Average Memory

136

7.25

2.25

9.50

6.0031

1.23017

Day 1

136

10.00

3.00

13.00

7.4371

1.62687

Day 2

136

8.00

4.00

12.00

7.2855

1.37900

Day 3

136

11.5

0.50

12.00

7.5535

1.54025

Day 4

136

10.00

2.00

12.00

7.5489

1.52542

Day 5

136

9.00

3.00

12.00

7.4074

1.67694

Day 6

136

8.00

3.00

11.00

7.5137

1.53834

Day 7

136

9.00

3.00

12.00

7.1588

1.71030

Mem Trial 1

134

11.00

0.00

11.00

6.1642

1.86456

Mem Trial 2

136

10.00

0.00

10.00

6.4338

1.54298

Mem Trial 3

136

8.00

2.00

10.00

5.5662

1.59491

Mem Trial 4

136

9.00

2.00

11.00

1.7647

1.65657

Valid N

134

Table 1: Laboratory Report data output for memory trial using digit span test.

For this study, the statistical test that was employed was alpha level of .05. The relationships involved the sleep duration with minimum being 4.86 hours and maximum being 10.29 hours against their scores in trials. This was repeated for their ages too which the minimum was 18 years and the maximum being 56 years.

Of the 136 participants, the minimum sleep duration was 4.86 hours and the maximum10.29 hours. The participants who had lesser hours and quantities of sleep scored low in the trials with nil (0.00) scores in the first two trials and 2.00 in the next two trials. The participants who had higher sleep quantities, on the other hand, had higher scores in the memory tests, with 11.00 and 10.00 over the various trials. With a little age and memory trial deviation, it is clear that the effects of the quantities of sleep did not vary across the different ages.

For a person with a small age, that means that the score on the trial will be very small. As such, the score on the trial is a great factor that is championed by the age. By looking at the standard deviation of 0.92524 meaning that the range of performance across the ages were closely spaced.

However, it is very important to note that there is no relationship whatsoever between the memory of the participant and sleep duration one had the night before.

Lack of sleep study

The results reveal the relation between the sleep hours of the 136 individuals versus their memory ability in the various trials. The deviation after each day of deprived sleep increases with increased number of days. There are also reduced memory capacity averages after each subsequent memory trial. The effect of the sleep debt on the cognitive skills of the individual is not sufficiently observed in the first short tests but after several days of recurrence. Accumulated sleep debt due to the chronic sleep deprivation after seven days results in more poorly expressed cognitive skills compared to the initial days.

Most individuals were not able had an average sleep quantity of about 7 hours. Individuals with lesser hours showed significant depreciation (10.00 or even 9.00) in their memory ability in the in the four trials. Also, the students can attain very high scores in the first and second memory tests compared the third and the fourth tests. In consideration of the quantity of sleep, the distinction between short-term deprivation and long-term and chronic deprivation of sleep must be well established. This is important as sometimes long-term, and chronic deprivation of sleep may have accumulated and more profound effects on the individual compared to short-term deprivation of sleep.

To investigate the effects of sleep deprivation the experiment may be designed to evaluate the effects on the individual’s memory over a short period (24 hours) and a longer period (7 days). Both parameters are treated as the independent variables with the measures of memory (or cognitive performance) as the dependent variable. As identified in the hypotheses the effect of low quantities of sleep have been explained using the sleep-based neuropsychological approach. Horne (1993) suggests that extremely low sleep amounts impair the cognitive performance of activities that are reliant on the basic functionality of the prefrontal cortex. These activities are inclusive of higher functions like executive functions, language fluency, creativity and divergent thinking. The digit span test provides an interesting yet complex exercise that can be adequately used to determine the relation of low sleep quantities and the impairment of the high activities of the prefrontal cortex. The parameter of the working memory of the individual is more suitable in examining this relation in individuals, like the students in this case study.

Sleep deprivation case studies

The cognitive performance of an individual originates from the ability of their brain’s prefrontal cortex to effectively coordinate the various activities the various physiological and psychological activities of the body. Deprivation of sleep affects the functionality of this important part of the brain leading to impairment of the cognitive performance of the individual. Memory tests are effective in evaluating the cognitive performance of an individual. The quantitative analysis of the cognitive ability of an individual is best done by tests such as the digit span tests, where the memory ability of an individual is tested by their ability to write down the digits in the correct order after they have been read out by an instructor. There are significant revelations of the effects of sleep quantity on the memory of the individual. Through the digit span test, it is revealed that the individuals with accumulated sleep debts exhibit relatively lower memory abilities. The inverse is also true, thereby confirming the indirect relationship between sleep quantity and cognitive ability. The implication of this relationship forms the basis of midday nap for young lower primary students to enhance the memory consolidation of the academic subject and also to give them time off the disruption of the academic content. Apart from sleep, several other factors can affect the scores from the memory tests. The factors include the emotions of the participants at that time of the test, the duration they spend in class among other factors.

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Sleep research. (2018, Apr 03). Retrieved from https://speedypaper.com/essays/101-sleep-research

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