More teens affected academically by less sleep

Winter is coming and so are less hours of sleep. The problem is that some students are already going to school without any sleep. Despite the consequences of getting no sleep, students are still insistent on losing sleep and as a result suffering.

The most obvious of the symptoms of not getting sleep is, “Unable to focus or stay awake and alert,” Sharon Gianni, Psychology teacher at Neshaminy High School said. If students did not sleep during the night, they would have a difficult time focusing on the exhausting torture that is high school.

Despite the numerous amounts of students that walk into the high school every morning with mugs of coffee, many still show signs of lacking sleep such as “falling asleep in class, trouble focusing, irritable [behavior],” guidance counselor Casey Rodgers said. Just imagine attempting try to endure Advanced Placement United States History in first period with no sleep the previous night—horrid to just think about but even worse to experience.

To combat the evils of all-nighters it is recommended that students “Set a cut-off time, preferably an hour before bed, turn off the TV and put the cell phone on silent. Facebook and Instagram will still be there in the morning,” A.P. Psychology teacher Erin Markey said.

The many distractions available to teenagers today pose an increasingly dangerous threat to their sleeping habits, and as a result they struggle the following morning. According to the University of Michigan, “20 percent of students sleep during their first two hours of school.”

Furthermore, not only will students face trouble staying awake, but they will also face difficulty staying healthy. “Long-term lack of sleep could have more detrimental side effects such as increased levels of cortisol (stress), anxiety/depression, cardiovascular health and mental acuity,” Markey said.

There are many ways to stay healthy while getting sleep easier though. One way is to eat more healthy foods. “B-complex vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids are some of the most energy-boosting nutrients available,” an article by Meredith Melnick on Huffingtonpost said.

A major cause of lack of sleep and worse health is the consumption of caffeine—soda, energy drinks, coffee, and tea. They increase the speed of the cells inside the body and as a result keeps the body functioning beyond its normal limits. “Cut the caffeine,” Markey said.

But the reason for getting more sleep is mainly contributed to the different aspects of life that are affected. Academically, lack of sleep results in difficulty focusing on schoolwork; socially, irritable and moody behavior can be caused by losing sleep.

Of course, the most important reason for getting more sleep is because a lack of it can lead to a worsening of the physical health. “Physically you are fatter if you do not complete the proper sequence and stages of sleep nightly.”