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YPIE Scientist: Swapna Chavara and Zowie Mullings

Updated: May 30, 2023



Research: The Implications of Sleep on an Individual’s Mood


Awards:

  • Swapna: WESEF 2023, Participant in Westlake Science Fair (2021), Regeneron Science Talent Search 2022

  • Zowie: Leason Ellis Team Project Award WESEF 2022, WESEF 2023, Participant in Westlake Science Fair (2021), Greenlight Awards Semi-Finalist, Regeneron Science Talent Search 2022


Abstract:


Sleep plays a vital role in adolescent brain development, cognitive functioning, and emotional stability. Previous studies have shown that there is a link between sleep and psychological problems. However, many of these studies were focused on adults, with little on adolescents due to issues regarding consent. Addressing this problem, the purpose of this study was to discover the impact of sleep on mood, specifically in adolescents. The study started off with participants being chosen through a combination of snowball and convenience sampling. Established social platforms, including Snapchat, Messages, Slack, and Discord were used to gather participants. Participants were gathered based on their age, limiting the range to 13 to 21, the scientifically accepted age range for adolescents. After the invitation to take part in the study was accepted, participants were sent a unique 6-digit. Surveys were sent to participants on four days of the week for four weeks (16 days in total). Each survey included a section for consent, hours of sleep received the previous night, and Brief Mood Introspection (BMI). Following the end of the survey, data was gathered and sorted to calculate the overall BMI score for each participant response. Statistical tests were then administered, including correlational tests and T-tests. These tests revealed that those with less than 8 hours of sleep were more prone to experiencing negative moods, while those who received sleep close to or higher than 8 hours were more prone to experiencing positive moods. This research is important as it can aid in creating awareness among adolescents regarding the importance of sleep and adds to foundational research on sleep and cognitive functioning of adolescents, which could support future studies pertaining to this topic.




About this Scientist:

Swapna E. Chavara is a senior at Yonkers High School and is set to attend Binghamton University in the fall, majoring in biology on the pre-medical track. She plans to continue research in college and delve deeper into the many branches of science, especially her favorites immunopathology and cognitive psychophysiology. Combining her love of science and helping others, she aspires to become a pediatrician in the future.


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