Sleep deprivation among high school students

Camryn Robbinson, Staff Reporter

Sleep is something most people take for granted, but in today’s society, high school students are considered lucky even if they get four hours of sleep.

Sleep is a vital necessity for teenagers, but according to a 2014 study, “over 90 percent of high school students are chronically sleep deprived.”

On average, high school students should be getting at least nine hours of sleep, “but 20 percent of high schoolers are getting less than five hours of sleep per night.”

Not getting enough sleep can greatly affect how well students perform in school.

“When I get 6 hours [of sleep] or less, my day is practically useless. I feel sluggish, tired and unmotivated. My school work tends to not get done either,” sophomore Chase Culver said.

There are many causes of sleep deprivation, stress being one of them.

For junior Shantel Horne, it is normal to only sleep a couple of hours a night.

“I started to fall asleep in class without meaning to; it’s hard to focus,” Horne said.

Sleep deprivation, or, “pulling-an-all-nighter,” also affects self-control and hyperactivity during school.

“[When I don’t get enough sleep], I feel more talkative and feel like I have less of a filter. I get more distracted instead of doing my work,” sophomore Sydney Ames said.

As you get older, pulling-an-all-nighter is no longer a fun game played with your friends at sleepovers. Not getting enough sleep has serious consequences and increases risk for fatal injuries. A study at North Carolina State found that 55 percent of car crashes that happened because the driver dozed off, were drivers under the age of 25.

Changing sleep habits is a challenging thing, that takes a lot of time if you are a busy teenager, but there are things that may make it easier.

Turning off all electronic devices an hour before actually going to bed, including phones, laptops and TV’s. Doing this, helps the brain relax, making it easier to go to sleep.

“Now I put my phone outside of my room and it has benefited my sleep so much better,” Culver said.

It also helps to go to bed the same time every night, including weekends. This puts the brain into a strict schedule, making it easier to go to bed the same time every night.

Getting the right amount of sleep is important for high school students mentally and physically.