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Teens need to prioritize sleep time

posted Nov 21, 2016, 8:50 AM by Amanda Smith

A commonly asked question in today’s society is “Do students get enough sleep?” Studies show that most teenagers need about eight to 10 hours of sleep a night. However, a study done by the National Sleep Foundation showed that only 15 percent of students reported getting eight and a half hours of sleep. This means that the majority of students in the nation are failing to meet the needed sleep time.

One thing that affects students’ sleep is extracurricular activities. As an athlete, most days I arrive at school at 7:45 a.m. and don’t leave the school until around 6:15 p.m. Add in dinner, family time, homework, and for some, work, and it’s easily already 11 p.m. For those who aren’t involved in as many activities, sleep still doesn’t come easy. Many teenagers don’t go to sleep until 10:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., a fact shown in a study done by the National Sleep Foundation.

Teens need to know the negative effects of not getting enough sleep so that they can improve their day-to-day lives.

As most people know, sleep is a very crucial aspect in everybody’s life. Lack of sleep can lead to both minor and major consequences. In the classroom, it means troubles concentrating, learning and listening. If students can’t concentrate, learn or listen in school, what’s the point of attending? This seems like a wasted day to me.

Not getting the required amount of sleep can lead to bad decisions, as well. Many teenagers resort to coffee or other caffeinated drinks, such as energy drinks or pop. Some teens even turn to alcohol or nicotine as a result of lack of sleep, which causes further health risks.

According to A Clinical Guide to Pediatric Sleep: Diagnosis and Management of Sleep Problems, there are many solutions to this issue. One includes cutting all electronics from your nightly routine. Some suggest that taking a hot bath or shower can also help you fall asleep earlier. Maintaining a consistent routine every night can also help your body begin to “see” the signals that it’s time for bed so that the negative effects of not getting enough sleep can be minimized.


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