Making The Situation Better for Sleep-Deprived Teens

Grant Brunstetter, Staff Reporter

Grant Brunstetter

Imagine this scenario. After staring at a math assignment for what seems to be an eternity, you turn and look at the clock only to find out the depressing fact that it is 12:30 a.m. and you still have another hour of work to go.

Add on the fact that you had practice all day after school, leaving you mentally and physically exhausted. Unfortunately, you will get five hours of sleep and will probably fall asleep the next day come second or third block.

This scenario is all too common for many high school students.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, teens need somewhere between eight to 10 hours of sleep per night to be at a peak mental state during the day. The survey revealed, however, on average, only 15 percent of teens reach this recommended sleep mark.

According to the NSF this lack of sleep can dramatically reduce one’s ability to effectively listen, solve problems and learn in general. They also found that sleep deprivation can lead teens to be more hostile and increases their chances of engaging in risky behavior.

How can teens deal with homework, after-school activities or jobs and getting enough sleep? There are number of solutions to this issue that involve both teachers and teens:

Teens need to learn better time-management skills so they can work ahead. One thing I have noticed during my three years in high school — and I am guilty of this as well — is the tendency of students to procrastinate. Most students at some point or another put something off until the last possible minute and end up stressing themselves out.

Sometimes teens cannot help it, though. They are often involved for long hours after school with practice, games, clubs, theatre, and any number of other obligations.

Teachers sometimes fail to consider the other obligations students have or that students have seven other classes that require time and attention as well. There should be ways less homework can be given in each class.

This is indeed a problem, but it is one that can be solved by students becoming better organized and teachers considering the overall situation.