Getting Enough Sleep?


Varying by age, there is a recommended amount of time one should sleep in order to stay healthy and do well in school. For those of us in high school, as teenagers ages 13 to 18 years old, the recommended amount of sleep is 8 to 10 hours. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine suggests such recommended hours of sleep and are useful in learning to prioritize the need to sleep. Teenagers are known for their practices of not going to sleep until late whether they are busy with homework or just keeping themselves content with something else. Tristan Sarabia (12th) says, “I’ve noticed that I do not perform to the best of my ability when I don’t get the recommended hours of sleep. I’m always tired.” According to the academy’s consensus statement, sleeping the recommended hours over a 24-hour period is associated with improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation, quality of life, and mental and physical health. It can also lead to better performance at school and better relationships at home.

Quin Seepersed (12th) said, “I sometimes get a good night’s sleep, but when I don’t I really don’t try my best in school since I’m so tired and out of it.” Sleeping more than the recommended hours also has negative effects same as not getting the suggested amount of time. Sleeping less or more is related to adverse health outcomes such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes and mental health problems. In teenagers sleeping more or less than the recommended hours, the research showed that there were more feelings of hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, and suicidal attempts. Researchers also saw more tobacco use, alcohol use and illicit drug use. Teenage drivers who could easily be in a drowsy state without enough sleep are more likely to get in car accidents. The busy lives of teenagers prove to augment the public health issue among teenagers. With so many distractions, activities, and devices available to teenagers, sleep should still be a higher priority as to stay healthy and safe overall.