Not Getting Enough Sleep Can Affect Students

photo source: Kstatecollegian

photo source: Kstatecollegian

Harmony Aguirre, student journalist

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They can be seen around campus. Students falling asleep in class, taking naps in the library, or grabbing a few minutes of rest in the front office chairs.

Sleeping habits, in general, are a growing problem in today’s modern society, but teenagers sleep habits are even more concerning.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine reports that the recommended hours of sleep needed to fully function is eight to ten hours for teens. However, students are not getting those hours.

Many in the medical and education fields believe that one of the causes for teens lack of sleep are schools starting so early during the week. Add to that the late hours they keep due to homework, athletics, and socializing resulting in tired, sleepy pupils. 

Two important ongoing arguments in high schools are that class should school start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. And the other is that teachers should stop giving homework to students.

“I think that sleep is our foundation for our daily functioning because we get the time to rest and it helps us with our ability to think and our memory, when our sleep is off everything is off,” said  Clairemont High psychologist Ms. Schell.

Many teachers are torn by early start and late start school hours.

“7:20 (in the morning) is really early but at the same time I love being out by 2:30 p.m so I think it would be really cool if the school could start like at 8:00 a.m,¨ said Clairemont Bio-Med teacher Ms. Peña.

A study published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine reports that insufficient sleep among adolescents contributes to lower grades and lack of motivation. Additionally, it shows that insufficient sleep can increase the odds of serious levels of emotional and behavioral disturbances.

In the study, 882 high school students were interviewed and more than 48 percent reported sleeping under the recommended eight hours. It also demonstrated that grade point average and motivation were severely impacted by the students sleeping habits.

“I think that when we’re well rested we’re just in a better place and I think our capacity to manage our emotions is greater. I think that when we’re tired you’re more irritable and our threshold is diminished when we’re not adequately rested,” said Ms. Schell.

“I know that our brains require a certain level of sleep to be able to function adequately, so when our brains aren’t rested and our minds aren’t rested I think that our ability to concentrate, to think, to learn, to manage our emotions, all these things are going to be severely impacted,” she added.

Other medical professionals agree with Ms. Schell.

¨Many adolescents do not get sufficient sleep and that even mild chronic sleep deprivation has serious effects on their psychological functioning. Lack of sleep should no longer be considered a traditional adolescent rite of passage because it can have serious consequences,¨ said Dr. Danner, from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Dr. Danner´s quote is quite impactful, due to society thinking that all teens have to go through sleep deprivation and emotional instability as a rite of passage. Those ideals are just harmful to future generations, that type of negative customs need to stop for the sake of teenagers health, emotional and physical.

So turn off the computer, stop playing that online game, do that class assignment earlier instead of procrastinating and get some szzzzzzzzz . . .

 

About the Writer
Harmony Aguirre, managing editor/student journalist

Harmony Aguirre is a current senior at Clairemont High School, and she has lived most of her life in San Diego. Before starting her freshman year, Harmony...

1 Comment

One Response to “Not Getting Enough Sleep Can Affect Students”

  1. Andrea Kessler on November 29th, 2018 9:39 AM

    I read your article, and have heard about this “Late Start” debate. I do NOT believe that we need to start High school later. I believe parents and teens need to UNPLUG and HANG UP, at an earlier hour. I have had three children graduate from CHS and I have grandchildren in high school in central California. I know and see how much time and how late they stay up on their phones. It is worse than it was in the early 2000. Let us not forget to address this side of the issue.

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