The Wakefield Chieftain

Sleep Deprivation is Depriving Us of Success

Banu Ahmad '21, Staff Writer

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Sleep is one of the necessities of life, so you’d think that high school students would be getting more of it. The sad truth is that over 90% of high school students don’t get the recommended 8-9 hours of sleep that they need. The real question is, why are high school students sleep deprived?

Health teacher, Ms. Sible said, “I think it’s a big pressure, because everyone is looking to go to college, and colleges are very demanding in what they want. They want good grades, they want extra curriculars, they want students to do so much. There can be a lot of pressure from parents, from peers, and from colleges.”

 

These are the three major reasons as to why teens aren’t getting the precious sleep they need.

Biological sleep schedules: 

During adolescence, teen’s biological sleep time delays about 2 hours later. It’s hard for them to go to bed earlier, since their body does not start releasing melatonin until about 11:00. Teens need more sleep than adults, because they are still growing and developing.

Most high schools start too early:

 While Wakefield starts later than most, many students still need to wake up early for sports practice, or to get to school on time. If students are required to wake up more than three hours earlier than their natural wake up time, then they will end up sleep deprived.

School sports and activities:

 Students usually do sports, or extracurricular activities. Often, they get home late because of this since it takes up a lot of time after school. There simply isn’t enough time to get homework done, do chores, and get everything done.

When students don’t get enough sleep, they cannot focus in class, they will be stressed, and their mood will be considerably worse. Studies show that when teens are sleep deprived, they tend to make worse decisions, and they can become irritable, hopeless, and depressed.

To learn more about the major reasons why students are sleep deprived, check out Nationwide’s Childrens.

So, if sleep deprivation is such a big problem for teens, then what can we do to fix it?

First of all, learning to manage your schedule is never a bad idea. Also, cutting a few unnecessary clubs could help you have more time after school. Some students have trouble falling asleep, and a hot, non-caffeinated drink (like decaf tea or hot milk…TRY HOT MILK with a little honey! It makes you feel warm inside.) can help calm down your system. Also, I know it’s hard, but try to put away your phone about an hour before you go to bed, it will help a lot. If you have too much on your plate, and you’re having trouble balancing everything, try talking to your teachers about the workload, or talk to your counselor.

The most important thing is getting a healthy amount sleep (8-9 hours). Being the best you that you can be that day is also important. A bad day isn’t necessarily a bad week.

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