Health officials have recommended that people ages from 15-22 years old should get nine hours of sleep. Studies have shown that 72.7% of high school students reported insufficient sleep. 20% of students reported sleeping fewer than 6 hours a night. Others have reported sleeping even less if they had a big assignment due. The leading factors associated with sleep deprivation is due to sleep disorders, working a job while still in school, stress from too much homework and pressure from parents to succeed.
Not getting enough sleep causes lack of motivation, mood swings, behavior issues, and trouble concentrating. This can be detrimental for students who drive to school since their lack of concentration can cause them to get into an accident. The Foundation for Traffic Safety states that people from ages sixteen to twenty-four are 80% more likely to get in a drowsy driving accident. Students should consider taking the bus, but that means that you lose more sleep to catch the bus early. But any chance to save your life and others on the road is worth taking into consideration.
Sleep deprivation does not only cause mental and emotional issues but can be harmful to your physical health. Your risk for diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure increases. Also, students tend to start drinking and smoking to cope with stress. This is worrisome because students can easily get addicted to these substances and continue this unhealthy coping mechanism into adulthood. Scientists have concluded that people who get insufficient sleep are associated with drugs and alcohol. The worst case scenario is when people get so little sleep that it causes depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. The Archives of Suicide Research showed that 20-40% of teens who sleep 1-2 hours less than the recommended amount have an increased chance of having suicidal thoughts.
The world is chaotic and you may have a lot of things going on but please try to get as much sleep as you can. It is important for your health and happiness. If things ever get too bad and you feel like you can’t go on, please tell someone and seek help.