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Importance of Sleep: How Much Sleep Should High School Students Get?

Sleep is one of the most essential parts of our everyday lives. It plays a significant role in the excellent health and well-being of a person throughout their life. It’s like food to our brain. Sleep is essential and provides various physical benefits to our body. Not getting enough or proper sleep often has several […]

Sleep is one of the most essential parts of our everyday lives. It plays a significant role in the excellent health and well-being of a person throughout their life. It’s like food to our brain. Sleep is essential and provides various physical benefits to our body. Not getting enough or proper sleep often has several emotional and mental outcomes.

During sleep, the plasma growth hormone is secreted, which helps the body to grow. Also, sleep maintains healthy body weight. Besides these, there are other benefits of sleep too. The sleeping pattern varies in different age groups. It means that the amount of sleep needed by a child is different from a teenager and an adult. Usually, high school students suffered from sleep deprivation.  In this post, we will discuss:

•          Sleep high school students need

•          Scientific reasons for sleep deprivation in high school students

•          Major problems due to lack of sleep

•          Tips for teens to get better sleep

Sleep High School Students Need:

Most of the high school students want to sleep late in the mornings. Teenagers need eight to ten hours of sleep every night. It is certainly more than the amount of sleep a child or an adult wants. 

According to the National Sleep Foundation, high school students between 13-17 years need 8-10 hours of sleep daily. However, a fewer minority, i.e., 15% of teens turned up sleeping for 8.5 hours per night. Another study of students in high school revealed that high school student’s average sleep was 6-8 hours per night while the average in some schools was quite low as six hours per night.

Recent studies often found that 73% of high school students across 30 states of America are not getting the desired sleep, up from 69% in 2009.

Not getting enough sleep regularly often leads to severe sleep deprivation. It can have dire effects on a student’s life, affecting their mental comfort, academic performance, and increasing the risk of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. 

Scientific Reasons for Sleep Deprivation in High School Students:

Lack of sleep affects various aspects of high school students’ lives. Teenagers who suffer from sleep deprivation are more likely to get poor grades, sleep during the classes, remain absent from school, and negate the hours of sleep which were lost due to studying.

Such students are often reported as being moody and have less patience level. These students are more anxious than others and are likely to suffer from depression. There are many reasons which contribute to sleep deprivation. This might include a vicious social circle, social attitudes, sleeping disorders, and even exposure to light. However, there might be some scientific reasons too, which compel the teenagers to go to bed late and sleep for a longer time in the morning. The changing rhythm in the body, hectic schedules, afterschool activities, and the use of technology often led to sleep deprivation in high school students.

Now let’s discuss each of the scientific reasons for sleep deprivation in bit detail:

1.Circadian Rhythm:

The prime reason behind high school students not getting enough sleep is circadian rhythm, which encourages a late bedtime. This rhythm is the internal biological clock of teens, which is different from children and adults. Their bodies are fighting the support to go to bed early, but the biological clock hinders this. Since the total amount of sleep does not change, so, it means that they need more time in the morning.

2. Hectic Schedules:

Early school timings and hectic schedules not only burdened students but also cause sleep deficiency. The classes in high school start earlier than elementary or junior high schools. Some teens find it difficult to sleep before 11 pm, and as some schools start at 7 am so it eventually results in sleep deprivation.

3. After school Activities:

The teens are very busy as their school day is followed by after school clubs, societies, organized sports, and quite a few hours of homework, assignments, and presentation work. The students stay up late at night to complete their tasks, and this makes them sleep-deprived.

4. Use of Technology:

After getting free from all school work, before going to bed, students relaxes. They check their Facebook or Instagram account, chat with their friends on What’s App, or even watch their favorite movie on computers and play games on their smartphones. The computer or phone screen signals make it difficult for teens to fall asleep. It is because these signals control the production of melatonin; a hormone that controls sleep. Reduced level of melatonin makes it harder for teenagers to fall asleep.

Other Problems Due to Sleep Deprivation:

Sleep deprivation not only affects the academic performance of teenagers but also imposes negative impacts on their physical and mental health. A person’s health and happiness depend on the amount of sleep they are getting.

Various health issues are often due to lack of sleep. It increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. Exhausted students crave foods that are high in sugar and caffeine as they hope that they will get a temporary boost up.

In the mental context, students might experience anxiety, clinical depression, irritability, and lack of motivation due to sleep deprivation. Teenagers not getting enough sleep are at great risk for alcohol and drug use. It is because the addiction rate increases significantly among those who are sleep deprived.

Tips for Teens to Get Better Sleep:

To prevent sleep deprivation, many sleep experts suggest that teens must prioritize their sleeping patterns and should focus on healthy sleeping habits.

To get better sleep, teens can opt for certain relaxing activities like reading a book or taking a bath or warm shower before going to bed instead of using a computer or smartphone. However, there are other tips too which teens can follow to get better sleep. These tips are as follows:

•          Follow a Sleep Routine:

Teens should follow a consistent sleeping routine as it helps to regulate their sleep rhythms and also ensure a night of better sleep.

•          Manage Work Activities:

Having lots of work being piled up for students often result in sleep deprivation. Students must plan their work following strict timings. They should follow a routine in which they can complete their work on the given deadlines. However, if at times there is a lot of work burden like they have to write essays as well as work on reports and presentations too. To minimize this burden, students can take help from cheap essay services who offer essay writing services at quite cheap rates. In this way, they can complete their work and can get enough sleep too.

•          Take Naps:

Students must be encouraged to take an afternoon nap after school. It is because many studies reveal that short nap helps in the optimal functioning of the body.

•          Do Exercise:

People sleep significantly well and feel more attentive during the day if they do 150 minutes of exercise every week. Thus, teens are recommended to take some time out from their schedule and do exercise regularly.

•          Do Yoga:

Performing yoga before going to bed helps in falling asleep easily and for a longer time. A study showed that doing yoga is a sign of better sleep quality; therefore; students can also do yoga to get better sleep.

Final Thoughts:

Fewer high school students are getting the desired amount of sleep due to certain physical factors, along with changing sleeping patterns, busy schedules, and technology use. However, when students don’t get enough sleep so, they are affected negatively both physically and mentally.  The high school students must follow a good sleep routine, do regular exercises, and should manage their time while completing their homework and assignments to get enough sleep every night. 

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