Stressed, Tired, Overworked- The Average Teenage Student Almost every student strives to get an “A,” but does this have adverse effects on their health? Two preeminent sources of these effects can easily be observed when evaluating the lives of teenage students: sleep and stress. Insufficient sleep regularly leads to an excess of stress while, similarly, and excess of stress can lead to insufficient sleep. The two seemingly interwoven occurrences have both been proven to effect both physical and mental health negatively. The American Psychological Association reports, from studies done in 2013, that “teens who sleep fewer than eight hours per school night, many say their stress level has increased over the past year (42 percent), compared with 23 percent of teens who sleep at least eight hours per school night” (“Stress and Sleep”). From this statistical data, it can be inferred that stress level and amount of sleep have an impact, generally adversely.
A simple, yet common excuse it that teenagers are just teenagers which choose to go to bed later and, therefore, cause their own stress, but the reality is that this is not entirely true. Studies show that the biological sleeping patterns of teenagers shifts towards later times; not being able to fall asleep until after 11:00 p.m. is biologically normal for adolescence (“Teens and Sleep”). Adolescents are not entirely at fault; their biological clocks are simply “misguided.” Mary Alvord, a clinic psychologist, once said “A
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It is a well known fact that teenagers in general need more sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation: “[teenage sleep] is as important as the air you breathe, the water you drink and the food you eat. It can even help you to eat better and manage stress of being a teen.” When schools start as early as 7 o’clock, it puts students health at risk. Adolescents already have a natural shift in their internal body clock, or circadian rhythm when it comes to sleep. Puberty allows this to happen, causing a “sleep phase delay” of about two hours. When teens can't fall asleep until late and school starts so early, they aren't getting nearly enough sleep. Lack of such, according to CDC, makes the individual
When a student pulls an “all-nighter” studying, working, or simply stressing over tomorrow’s exam, they lose precious time that should be used to relax and rejuvenate. It has been recommended by experts that the average teenager get 9.25 hours of sleep each night in order to be fully functional the next day (National Sleep Foundation). However, only about 15% of American high school students are meeting this benchmark, creating concern among many doctors and sleep specialists. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health, losing too much sleep significantly increases the levels of cortisol in the human brain. Often referred to as the “stress hormone,” high levels of cortisol are very unhealthy for developing adolescents, slowing down communications between the brain’s frontal lobes and ultimately leading to the impairment of auditory, spacial, and visual senses. In addition, too much cortisol can cause students to become “emotionally irrational,” causing more dramatic responses to everyday situations. As a result, losing too much sleep makes it nearly impossible for students to concentrate and learn, which ultimately defeats the original purpose of homework, to improve learning and prepare students for the future.
Some teen parents may think that their child sleeps to much or to late. But, as children turn into teens there is a shift in their circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm regulates the timing of periods of sleepiness and wakefulness throughout the day. The shift in the circadian rhythm that teens experience causes them to not feel tired until about 10:00 or 11:00 pm. This shows that in order for teens to get the suggested amount of sleep they should not have to wake up until 7:00 or 8:00. Also, due to the biology of the human development, sleep mechanisms don’t allow teens to fully wake before 8:00 am. This is because the secretion of the sleep hormone melatonin begins at about 10:45 p.m. and continues until about 8 am. What this means is that it is difficult for teenagers to fall asleep until melatonin secretion begins and hard to wake up until the melatonin secretion stops. Children however, In 2014, The American Academy of Pediatrics called the problem of tired teens a public health epidemic. This shows that tired teens is not just a problem in a certain state. It affects the majority of America. Mary Carskadon, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University, is nationally recognized for her teen sleep expertise. She studied sleep and academic performance. Carskadon and her colleagues surveyed 3,000 high school students and
As a person gets older, the amount of sleep needed each night gets less. Teenagers are an exception to that rule. The years from 15 to 18 packs on a whole new level of stress. Exams, homework, after school clubs, jobs, college, relationships, it’s all running through our heads at every second of every day. With a jammed packed schedule, hormones running wild, and teachers loading up the work, we could use some slack. If that could come in the form of a better night’s sleep, we’d be eternally grateful.
Sleep is essential for cognitive, emotional, and physical wellbeing, especially those who are developing into young adults. Proper sleep hygiene, defined as “those practices of daily living that promote good sleep and daytime function” is considered to be a rising issue among adolescent high school students.9 An average adolescent would require between 8 and 9 hours of sleep per night to be considered well rested.5 One survey of American adolescents in high school reported that only approximately 14% of those students actually received an adequate amount of sleep.10 Another study estimates that approximately one-third to one-fourth of adolescent population does not obtain adequate sleep.3 Poor sleep hygiene can lead to many factors that will negatively influence high school student’s wellbeing. Lack of sleep has been proven to be a root cause for multiple negative health outcomes, such as: an increase in depressive symptoms, sedentary behavior, decrease in emotional stability, and reduced physical development.1,5 As depressive behavior increases and motivation decreases, it leads to a significant decline in academic performance and consequently affecting daytime function.4 Practicing proper sleep hygiene and building a foundation of good habits begins with the early stage of adolescents in high school.
Some people may ask, “Why don’t teenagers just go to bed earlier, instead of having school later?” This is a common concern for parents and teachers as well. The fact is, adolescents have different sleeping patterns than adults do. Throughout the day, teenagers are most tired during the morning, and most alert at night (Cerve 4). “The body’s internal clock shifts after puberty, making it
As a result of a changing body and mind, adolescent sleep cycles have different needs than those of adults or younger children. As a matter of fact, Biologically, sleep patterns shift toward later times for both sleeping and waking during adolescence -- meaning it is natural to not be able to fall asleep before 11:00 pm (“Teens”). In addition to biological change in sleep patterns, teenagers also tend to have eccentric sleep cycles. Obtaining less than healthy hours of sleep during the school week and then catching up on their sleep on the weekends. Most teenagers during the school week, do not get the suggested amount of sleep. In fact, according to a recent poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, 80% of teenagers do not get the suggested amount of sleep of 9 hours on school nights (“School Start”). With changing bodies and minds, along with an increased amount of schoolwork and extracurricular activities, teenagers need more sleep than children of a younger age. Experts believe that moving back the start time of school for high school students will improve grades, test scores, and the overall health and personality of many students.
As children age and move from the first decade of life into the second the temptations to stay up later increases. The preference to stay up later is nearly universal among teenagers in all cultures and has even been observed in other mammals suggesting a biological basis. At the same time teenagers are beginning to stay up later and their recommended amount of daily sleep (8-10 hours) remains unchanged. Teenagers are unable to sleep in later as school start time determines when they must wakeup in the morning. This has led to an epidemic of chronically sleep deprived teenagers with only a small number of teenagers actually receiving
This may seem like a fairly normal amount of time, but due to the 2 hour shift in an adolescent’s biological clock that occurs after puberty, “a teenager who used to fall asleep at 9:00 PM will now not be able to fall asleep until 11:00PM.” Sleep deprivation can cause a variety of shifts in mood, behavior, cognitive ability, academic performance, and can also cause drowsy driving, which is dangerous to the child’s safety and those around them (Mindell & Owens). The effects of being so overworked are nearly impossible to ignore, yet no one is taking action to help improve stress levels in teens
However there was a positive correlation with success and sleep (Suskind). Homework can get in the way of activities that lead to better success. If the homework load is lessened, kids can have more time to sleep, which is very important to a child’s and teenager's development. Many health issues occur when students do not get enough sleep. The Medical Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School published a research article that states a lack of sleep aids in the development of diseases such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.(Sleep and Disease Risk)The article shows that students need sleep, and with the balancing of school, activities, and home it cuts into time for sleep. With the sleep deprivation and a large workload students are very prone to health issues and stress.
As a busy teen in high school, involved in many activities, I do not have much time for myself to relax and let my mind rest. When I come home from a long day of school, I still have homework that needs to get done. I go to sleep late and have to wake up early the next morning to get ready for school. Evidence from this article by Maria Konnikova proves that the stress I experience from my lack of sleep is not an exaggeration. Because I do not get quality sleep and I do not sleep long enough, my mind fogs throughout the day and my mood worsens because of my drowsiness. As I get more tired throughout the day, I become more hyper, having little control over my actions and responses. This coincides with the theory that inadequate sleep results
Almost every day high school students are waking up around six o’clock in the morning to get ready for school, some even earlier than that. Nearly every morning students are waking up without adequate sleep. If sleep is one of the most essential needs of the body in order to grow and develop, shouldn’t we be more aware of how much it affects students everyday performance? The ways in which students are affected by sleep-deprivation is precisely why school needs to start later.
Today´s Exhausted Super Kids, written by Frank Bruni, addresses one of the most prevalent debate topics about academic life today: sleep. Bruni detailed many studies including one that found more than half of American teenagers get less than the recommended amount of sleep for their age. He also mentioned other contributing factors to sleep loss besides stress from schoolwork, but the essay's main focus was lack of sleep caused by stress.
It is estimated that only 15 percent actually get these amounts (Kids Suffer from Sleep Deprivation). This is particularly important for students who wish to do well in school. Dr. Carl Hunt, the director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research, is spearheading a sleep campaign. Her philosophy is, “Sleep well, do well.” This is something that shouldn’t be taken to lightly. Sleep problems effect about 70 million Americans of all ages. Teens often have problems with daytime sleepiness. The old idea of early to bed, early to rise isn’t necessarily the best answer. Society is simply asking to much of teens (Sleep experts to teens). A combination of school, work, study and leisure, leaves very little time left for sleep. Being deprived of sleep definitely has an effect on how well students do in school and may be putting their health at risk. College students who stay up all night to study for a test or write a big paper that’s due often have no choice because of the pressures to do well and succeed, but at what price do they pay?
Experts suggest that teenagers should at least have between 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night, as this will help function their body and brain at a normal pace . Whilst adults can function properly with a minimum of 7 hours of sleep, on the other hand teenagers on average need about 8 hours of sleep to function best the next day. Based on a recent survey, it was found that an alarming rate of 75% of the participants sleep, on an average of 4 to 6 hours regular on a school night. On the other hand only 0.01% of the participants get the suggested hours of sleep on an average school night. Another finding from the survey participants stated, that some of the other factors that diminish the quality and quantity of sleep are that most participants stated that studying late at night is one of the main factors that effect their sleep. Whereas, involvement in extra co curricular activities least factors that effects the participants sleep. It is important that teenagers get the suggested amount of sleep, as this will allow for the mind and body to recharge and function promptly. Therefore, as experts suggests that to get consistent sleep, teenagers must avoid caffeine 4 hours prior to bed, and don’t eat or drink 2 hours before bedtime. Do not perform any physical exercise or other stimulating activities at least an hour before going to bed. Do not have excessive homework during the hour of your bedtime and leave your electronics devices outside your bedroom, as you will not be provoked to use