Dos Pueblos High School's Student Newspaper

Students Need More Sleep

Photo credit: Amanda Jo Soderman

By Susanna Sinclair, Editor-in-Chief

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In a world where there is so much focus on college applications, perfect grades, and extracurriculars, getting a good night’s rest can be put on the backburner. Priorities have been altered throughout a student’s educational career, and sleep is continually viewed as that one thing that someone can give up to finish a paper or study that extra hour for the test the next day.

In a Stanford article, “Among teens, sleep deprivation an epidemic,” it stated just how much teenagers lack sleep. “According to a 2006 National Sleep Foundation poll, the organization’s most recent survey of teen sleep, more than 87 percent of high school students in the United States get far less than the recommended eight to 10 hours, and the amount of time they sleep is decreasing — a serious threat to their health, safety, and academic success.”

That is a big deal. If students are continuously not getting the amount of sleep they need to function properly, it can have major effects on being a student, a driver, an athlete, and the list goes on.

I think that students should be aware of the amount of sleep their bodies require to function, not just the amount of sleep that the students tell themselves they need. According to the National Sleep Foundation, only 15% of teenagers sleep the required amount on school nights. This means that a large amount of students are not getting nearly the sleep they need to function at their best.

A lack of sleep does not just affect a student’s performance in school, but also in the academics. Something that teenagers need to understand is that if they sleep a lot during the weekend, it does not mean they should still get less sleep during the week. The body cannot “store” hours of sleep, according to Teen Health.

When people do not sleep enough, it can also affect how they process information. According to WebMD, when people do not sleep enough, sleep deprivation causes a fall in learning potential. “First, it impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem solving. This makes it more difficult to learn efficiently.”

Students need more sleep, and they also need to understand that it is their responsibility to get it. Blaming sleep deprivation on the bell schedule, teachers, or lots of homework will not work, because ultimately they are the ones who get to decide when ‘enough is enough’ and get some shut-eye.

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Dos Pueblos High School's Student Newspaper
Students Need More Sleep