Nichole Kim/ Cleveland High School 10th grade
How does the lack of sleep affect high school students? While many people blame the increase of technology usage, children having phones at a much earlier age than previous generations, and other various explanations of the sort, one major aspect people tend to leave out is the increase of the schoolload for children all over the nation. With extra homework and college expectations to have multiple extracurricular activities, students are choosing to skip sleeping on order to fit everything in.
According to Stanford Medicine, “sleep deprivation increases the likelihood teens will suffer myriad negative consequences, including an inability to concentrate, poor grades, … anxiety, [and] depression …”
There is no question that sleep deprivation has become an epidemic, but it is a problem that has no easy solution, as it is directly linked to the school system. Students are stuck in a vicious cycle where they come home with so much homework and additional studying to do that they go to bed extremely late, causing them to be tired the next day, decreasing their ability to pay attention and retain information at school.
“I don’t get enough sleep, and it affects me at school because I tend to not pay attention and lose interest in the things I’m learning. Sleep is the only thing on my mind.” says Karen Park, a sophomore in high school.
Another student, Esther Jung, jokingly says, “school is the reason I’m short,” referencing her lack of sleep due to an intense workload. But the correlation between lack of sleep and stunted growth has long been proven, and Jung’s statement may not be such a joke after all.
Teenage years are arguably some of the most important years, as much of the body’s development takes place during this time. In order for the body to develop, teens should be sleeping between 8 to 10 hours daily.
However, the National Sleep Foundation has reported that only about 9–15% of high schoolers are meeting this requirement. Furthermore, about 87% of American High School Students are chronically sleep deprived and 20% get less than five hours of sleep each night.
Admittedly, the issue of sleep deprivation goes hand in hand with the increasing workload students are being expected to complete each day, and in order to fix this epidemic, we must first tackle the matter of improving the school system. Though we appreciate the ease technology adds to our lives, we are not robots. Something must change so we can improve the lifestyle of students everywhere.
<Nichole Kim/ Cleveland High School 10th grade