The amount of sleep, on average, that teenagers are getting is between 6 and 7 hours when they should be getting between 9 and 9 ?? hours. Many teenagers come to school and they are exhausted. That is because they are not getting enough sleep. Between homework, school, sports, family, and friends it is almost impossible for people to get enough sleep, but it is very important to do so. Sleep deprivation is something that most everyone has felt at least once in their life. A lot of people think that because they can make it through each day that not getting enough sleep isn’t a big deal, but it is. Not sleeping enough takes a toll on teenagers physical, mental, and social health.
First of all, one thing many teenagers do not realize is that a lack of sleep affects your physical health. Teenagers who get less sleep have a higher risk for many health problems. For example, you are more likely to get into a car accident because you could be very drowsy and not react fast enough. There could be problems with your memory because during sleep, the brain forms connections for processing and remembering information and if the brain does not have enough time to make those connections, it could affect short and long-term memory. Sleeping less than 5 hours puts people at a risk for higher blood pressure. High blood pressure could also turn into heart disease. Sleep deprivation causes the chemicals that let your body know you are full become off balance which could lead to weight gain and obesity. Not enough sleep also puts your body at a risk for diabetes because it affects your body’s release of sugars and insulin. It puts you at risk for higher blood sugar and therefore, Type 2 Diabetes. Your body is your temple, and by not getting enough sleep, you are walking into many problems with your physical health.
Another important part of a teenager’s health that is affected by sleep deprivation is their mental health. While sleeping, everyone goes through many stages. During the quiet sleep’s deepest stage, physiological changes happen. Some teenagers don’t get to that stage because they don’t go to bed early enough. There is a stage called REM(Rapid Eye Movement) which develops your emotional health and changes it. Without that stage, your emotions would be very off balance. By not getting enough sleep, you are at a greater risk of getting insomnia, sleep apnea, and other sleep-related problems. Studies have shown, about 90% of children and teen who have depression, have some sort of sleep problem. Sleep deprivation can also build and contribute to the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, ADHD, anxiety, etc. Some people lay in bed and don’t sleep because they are thinking and stressing about things. Stress and being too hard on yourself are bad for your emotional and mental wellbeing. If you just lay down and forget about anything going on just for the 9 hours that you should be sleeping, your mental health will improve greatly. People who get enough sleep are usually more awake during the day, happier, healthier, and have less stress. By being sleep deprived, the mental and emotional aspects of teenagers lives change drastically.
The final part of the health triangle, social health, is also affected by sleep deprivation. As teens are not getting enough sleep, their social lives are being affected greatly. Relationships are impacted by sleep. For example, if you are dating someone and they do not get enough sleep one night, they can be cranky and take it out on you, putting a burden on the relationship. The problem of having a rough day with your partner can come full circle and cause you to have trouble sleeping that night and so on. It is harder for people to read others expressions and what they are trying to tell you when you have not had enough sleep versus when you have. When teenagers are too tired, all they want to do is take a nap. Some friends might ask you to hang out but you decline because you would rather catch up on sleep. Eventually, those friends stop asking you to hang out and just because you did not have enough sleep, you lose friends. Finding new friends can also be difficult when a lack of sleep makes you groggy and crabby all the time. Family relationships will weaken and not many people will want to be around someone who just wants to sleep and never socialize. Sleep is important because being awake is a key aspect in socialization. How can you make friends when you are too tired to go out? You can’t! Sleep deprivation has been studied and it has been proven that it affects your social health.
To conclude, sleep deprivation can be very easy to fix, just sleep more! We could also have a later start time at school or restrictions on homework so that teenagers can get more sleep. Having a later start time would be beneficial because it has been proven that teenagers perform better later in the day rather than earlier because they get more sleep and are more awake in the middle of the day. A lack of sleep beats down on your physical, mental and emotional, and social health. Getting enough sleep can improve every aspect of your health. It is very important to get the necessary amount of sleep, 9-9 ?? hours, a night. So stop staying up so late, try to sleep longer, and catch up on all that sleep you missed studying, doing homework, or doing another activity!
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