Shelly Li/ Portola High School 11th Grade
Do you get enough sleep? Or how much time of sleep is enough? According to Johns Hopkins pediatrician Michael Crocetti, M.D., M.P.H., teens need 9 to 9.5 hours of sleep per night. And it is essentially an hour more than they needed back to their age of 10. Why? This is under the consideration of the healthy condition because teens are going through a second developmental stage of cognitive maturation.
The additional hours of sleep help teens’ development of brain as well as their physical growth, which will further protect them from severe consequences like depression or drug addiction.
Starting from 2016, Seattle school districts proposed to shift school schedules to nearly an hour later, in order to reach a common goal --- getting teenagers to use the extra time for sleeping in, as many of them suffer from chronic sleep deprivation.
Going to school early in the morning made students unengaged in class activities and incapable to complete projects or lab assignments because they would constantly yawn. Results from this district change have later been compared to show students’ improvement in grades and reduction in tardiness and absences, revealing the strong connection between sleep and academics. For example, students from the same biology class received a 4.5 percent higher mark with the 34 extra minutes of sleep in the morning. Even though 34 minutes doesn’t sound influential enough to make any differences in one’s sleep schedule, but it did make a significant impact.
Although research has revealed insights about sleep’s help in adolescents’ academic courses, we cannot ignore the alarming but solid fact that 73% of high schoolers across 30 different states don’t get enough sleep; and percentage increase rate only grows larger as recent years go by.
Rony Z, a junior in high school says he feels like never got enough sleep during his high-school life, “If there are multiple tests projects and assignments, I get like 6 hours of sleep in three days. I wish to have more time to sleep, so that I would have more energy to focus better during class.”
Grace T, another high-school-junior girl who is suffering from sleep deprivation comments, “As a teenager, I would say that the amount of sleep I get really is not enough for my health. However, there really is nothing I can do about it if I have a great workload; all I can do is push beyond the sleepiness and continue doing my work until I finish and can finally go to sleep.”
Study by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) from a 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Surveys has analyzed the specifically deduced data about the level of sleep deprivation that students from different schools and states suffer from.
Some suggestions have also been made about improving this condition and relieving stress, such as maintaining a consistent sleep schedule each day, sleeping in a dark and quiet room, or limiting the use of electronics before going to bed. These things are much easier to be said than done, but they can play crucial roles in helping students get sufficient sleep.
<Shelly Li/ Portola High School 11th Grade