This is Hailey Bernot I am writing to discuss an important issue that I have noticed in Mentor High School. Thirty Three percent of teenagers report falling asleep in school and this is something that I have noticed daily at Mentor High. The school day at Mentor High School starts way too early and I think that many students and staff members would agree because it is affecting students learning and health. Schools across the world start at as early as 7 A.M. or as late at 9 A.M. Many early starting high schools have changed their starting times because students grades were dropping and they were not as prepared and focused.
Feeling tired, running on only three hours sleep means that I often want to watch television when I get home from school, and it takes a lot of effort to do homework. The Guardian quotes Professor Paul Kelley, who says that "young people in Britain were losing on average 10 hours’ sleep a week, making them more sleep-deprived than a junior doctor on a 24-hour shift" - this just illustrates the pressure on young people when we have to conform to a timetable created by adults, one which makes us lose sleep and have to work feeling exhausted and unfocused - imagine how much better we would feel if we had the ten hours sleep we are mivving
56% of students considered homework as a primary source of stress. This is important information because of it clear that homework is causing worry for most students. In the piece “Homework vs. Sleep: A Cause of Stress in Teens (And Younger Kids)” by Craig Canapari MD, it was reported about 15% of juniors and seniors had more than two hours of homework per night. Canapari also pointed to a study finding 90% of teenagers are not getting enough sleep due to too much homework. This is significant because teenagers need sleep for their growth and development.
In this essay, I will discuss how much sleep we need, how sleeping and not sleeping affects us, how you can catch up on lost sleep. Everyone needs different amounts of sleep and it always varies from person to person. Newborns ranging from zero to three months old need at least 14-17 hours of sleep every night. Infants who are four to eleven months old need only 12-15 hours of sleep daily. Next, one to two-year-olds, toddlers, only need 11-14 hours of sleep each night.
The Huffington Post claims that about 90% of American High School Students are chronically sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation is a serious problem for teenagers, as it can lead to a number of problems. First, there are mood problems like irritability and crankiness. It can also lead to behavioral problems like drinking, driving fast, and engaging in other dangerous activities. Drowsy driving can also happen, with teens at the highest risk of falling asleep at the wheel.
It is widely known that peer pressure, drug and alcohol abuse, and reckless driving are dangers that some teenagers may face; however, there is one major, yet less publicized problem that an increasing number of teenagers are dealing with on a daily basis. Both teenagers and adults suffer from sleep deprivation, but “the problem is most acute among teens” (Richter). Sleep deprivation is being referred to as an epidemic among experts, and it can have drastic effects on a teenager’s physical, mental, and social well-being. “The most recent national poll shows that more than 87 percent of U.S. high school students get far less than the recommended eight to 10 hours of sleep each night” (Richter). Teenagers have “irregular sleep patterns” and they
Adolescents need about 8-10 hours of sleep a night in order to be getting a full night’s sleep; however, majority of high school students don’t get anywhere near that. If a student went to bed at 11 pm they would have to sleep until about 7:30 am for an adequate amount of sleep; however, according to the CDC, almost 70% of high-school students report sleeping 7 hours or less on a regular basis. One reason high school students struggle with getting enough sleep has to do with a hormone in their body called melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone which helps control one’s sleep and wake cycles, but as children approach and begin going through puberty the melatonin in their body starts being produced on a delayed schedule. Therefore, adolescents have a hard time falling asleep or even feeling tired before 11
After a week of an unacceptable sleep schedule, students experience short and long term memory loss, trouble thinking and concentrating, and a drop in important hormone levels. Do you still think we are capable of maintaining perfect grades under these circumstances? A few months of insufficient sleep weakens teens’ immune systems and causes them to gain weight. High schools, colleges, and employers prioritize perfect attendence, yet how are we supposed to achieve this when constnant ilness is always in the way? Once the rough sleep routine has gone on for a year or so, adolescents will have an increased risk of heart disease, a risen blood pressure, and a higher risk for diabetes.
According to a 2010 survey published in The Journal of Adolescent Health, only 8% of high school students get the recommended amount of sleep which is nine hours, 23% of high school students get six hours of sleep, and 10% get 5 hours of hours. After school activities and the amount of homework contribute to the little amount of sleep teenagers are getting. Most students have after school activities such as jobs and sports, so they get home later and still have about 5 hours of homework every night. Sleep deprivation is a serious problem in teenagers that gets overlooked by many people. The reason teenagers are sleep deprived is because of the start time of schools and the amount of homework students are given.
They do not see how since 2012 our demographic has grown drastically more anxious and depressed as a whole (Schrobsdorff), and they do not see the issue of teens like 16-year-old blogger Morgan Levy sitting in hospital beds with caffeine dependences and low blood sugar; this has all been normalized (Levy). In fact, if you walk around Eastview complaining about your sleep deprivation you’ll likely be received with laughter, “oh, I only got two hours of sleep, thank God for coffee”. But this is a highly dangerous mentality to have. According to the National Sleep Foundation, only approximately 15% of high school students receive the proper 8 hours of sleep every night (“Teens and Sleep”). By saying this statistic, we are stating that the other approximately 85% of high school students are at risk of heightened aggressive and/or inappropriate behavior towards family and friends, a lower physical health that is more susceptible to illness, and a limited ability to learn, listen, concentrate, and solve problems, all because the students don't have time for balance.