High schoolers are struggling with sleep deprivation

Students often struggle with a lack of sleep -- and it sometimes catches up to them in class.


Students often struggle with a lack of sleep — and it sometimes catches up to them in class.

  Anyone between the age of 14 and 17 needs about nine hours of sleep, according to studies on everydayhealth.com.

 However, teenagers are only getting an average of about seven and a half hours per night.

  Health teacher John MacLeane is well-acquainted with the topic of sleep deprivation, and the reasons behind it.

  “You guys are out doing unspeakable things at night,” MacLeane jokes.   

  In actuality, there is also a more scientific reason teenagers struggle with sleep.

  “Puberty moves the circadian rhythms on teens back about two hours,” MacLeane said. “So (teens) really are not sleepy until much later at night and have a hard time going to bed early enough to (be) in time for school. Add to that social stuff and homework and it’s easy to see why most teens are sleep deprived.”

  Along with the way adolescents are wired, teens have plenty of distractions that keep them awake.   

  “The demands of school and extracurricular activities and everything else we have going on keep us from getting enough sleep,” Junior Alex Nash said. “That’s why teengers are always tired.”

  The summer gave students a break from their regular sleep schedule.

  “I felt a lot better over the summer because there was no homework and more time to do other things,” Senior Surina Dhanota said. “But now, I have to focus on school and college apps.”

  Now that school is back in session, students are adjusting to getting less sleep than they were over the summer.

  “I’m just more tired now,” Sophomore Jordyn Caulfield said. “When I get enough sleep, I feel energized for the day, but when I don’t, I feel kind of mopey.”

  Some students have difficulty doing normal activities when they are short on sleep.

  “If we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies can’t function properly, and we can’t focus very well either,” Dhanota said.

  Nash suggested a few ways for teenagers to get more sleep.

  “We could work on time management and trying to stay away from being on our phones too much,” Nash said. “We should be more proactive and get our work done when we can, and use every minute of time we have.”

  MacLeane recommended keeping a regular sleep schedule.

   “Don’t sleep in crazy long on the weekends,” MacLeane said.

“Avoid caffeine, nicotine, alcohol for several hours before bedtime. Turn off electronics. Start school later in the day.”

— MacLeane

   Until Granite Bay High School does decide to start later, students have to figure out a way to balance their sleep schedules with their ever-growing lists of things to do.

  Sleep is an important aspect of the day, and it has a significant effect on the human body.

  “Mental health is important, and sleep effects it a lot, so it’s important that we take care of ourselves,” Nash said.