Sleep Deprivation in Teens

Lauren Jai, Writer

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     With five tests a week, homework lasting until midnight, and projects due the next day, we students rarely ever have a break from school. According to the NationSleepFoundation.org, teens need eight to ten hours of sleep a night to function our best. On one study on teens, only 15% of teens received this amount of sleep on school nights. Why is sleep so important to us, especially to teens?

 

     Sleep causes numerous detrimental effects on the human body. It affects the way a person functions and acts during the day. Sleep is known as “food for the brain.” Sleepiness can cause mood swings, poor performance, affects learning and test scores, accidents, and injuries. Of all age groups, teens are the least likely to receive sufficient amount of sleep–even though sleep is the most critical for our age group. However, with an abundance of homework each day, are we really able to achieve at least eight hours of sleep a night? However, teens must be aware of possible effects on each one of us if we continue to be sleep deprived. Here are some of the physical and mental health risks that sleep deprivation can cause.

 

     Sleep deprivation can cause many mental health issues. According to a 2010 study on the Huffington Post, “Teens who sleep an average of six hours per night are also three times more likely to suffer from depression.” Another health risk issues with learning at school. It is no surprise that lacking sleep affects being on your best performance. In fact, I’m sure most of us have experienced drowsiness during the day from spending time on a paper past midnight. It is difficult to stay awake during class, and teens lacking sleep will not perform their best at school. In addition, sleep deprivation increases substance abuse such as drinking alcohol or smoking.
     Although it is not safe to say that every teen will experience this mental health and behavioral issues, sleep still plays a vital role in our teenage life. So, although it is difficult to maintain a sufficient amount of sleep, it is each student’s job to try his/her best to achieve this and schedule ahead of time.

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