We Need Sleep!

Valerie Esquilin, Writer

Do Teens Get Enough Sleep?

  • Young teens may likely stay up late playing video games or talking to friends.
  • When they get to high school, teens may procrastinate and not get anything done until ten at night because they spend too much time on Netflix or Twitter and go to sleep at two a.m. finishing up work for the next day.
  • Seniors may not get enough sleep due to the stress of finishing college essays and school assignments. Plus, they may be busy maintaining a social life.
  • Overall, not many teenagers care about the sleep they get, and it seems that they are getting a lot less sleep than they should.

What Studies Say

A recent survey by CBS New York found that a staggering number of teens are not getting enough sleep. “Half of the teens surveyed get under seven hours of shut eye. Experts recommend nine to 10 hours of sleep.” This study confirms that it is important for teenagers to get enough sleep because they’re still at a stage of growth and development. Sometimes the problem is not even school or college applications, the problem is that teens let their social life interfere with getting proper rest. Overall, teenagers aren’t supposed to lose so much sleep but it’s normal for them to do so. One of the side effects of this situation is that they end up falling asleep in class.

What Schools Can Do

Saint John’s started addressing the issue of sleep deprivation in teens by changing the schedule so the classes would start at 8:25 a.m.. When classes start at that hour, students can easily wake up at 7:00 and be on time at school. The general feeling of students is that they are happy with the schedule. The only drawback is that if school starts later it has to end later. According to Penn State researchers, a later school time could mean teens are more likely to get adequate amounts of sleep. “Teens starting school at 8:30 a.m. or later were the only group with an average time in bed permitting eight hours of sleep, the minimum recommended by expert consensus,” said lead author Orfeu Buxton, associate professor of biobehavioral health at Penn State. Overall, teens are definitely not getting the sleep they need to stay healthy and alert. However, by having a later start time schools can have an impact on the sleep teens get to stay healthy.