Students Are Not Getting Enough Sleep


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Sleeping Teenage girl with Alarm Clock

Lexi Day, Reporter

The first term of school is always an adjustment. After staying up late at night and sleeping late in the morning, going to bed at a reasonable time and getting up early is hard. This means that lots of students are coming to school without having gotten enough sleep, or just not getting good sleep. Everyone has experienced school when they’re tired–it doesn’t work. It’s very hard to focus and do the work you need to when all you want is to put your head down and fall asleep.

Many high school students get only a few hours of sleep every night. However, everyone knows that the standard amount of sleep teens need is eight to ten hours. According to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, teenagers need about nine to nine and a half hours of sleep every night. A study conducted in 2010 revealed that only eight percent of high school students in the US get the suggested amount of sleep on a school night. About twenty-three percent get six hours, and ten percent get five hours of sleep.

The effects of not getting enough sleep are not good. They include having a cranky, more irritable mood, struggling to pay attention and learn in class, and overeating (which leads to weight gain). These effects, and more, make for a pretty miserable day.

If you think about it, we spend about a third of our life sleeping–if we’re getting enough. If you are consistently getting too little sleep, the results could be disastrous.

In a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, they found that seventy-three percent of teens that reported feeling depressed were not getting enough sleep at night. This begins a cycle. When you don’t get enough sleep, you feel depressed. When you have a depressed mood, you have trouble sleeping. In addition to depression, teenagers that are sleep deprived are more likely to get an illness, get into a car accident, and start using drugs.

The effects of sleep deprivation can last for a long time. If you don’t get enough sleep now, you may end up with more problems in your future. It’s not worth it. Life happens and sometimes it’s just really hard to get to sleep on time, but whenever possible, you should be getting between eight and ten hours of sleep. The long-term, and short-term, effects of not sleeping are not something you want to live with.