Do High School Students Get Enough Sleep?

Do High School Students Get Enough Sleep?

Marisol Hernandez, News Editor

The question of whether high school students are gaining enough sleep has been a widespread question amongst many, including us students, for the past few years. Research shows that the average amount of sleep teenagers should be receiving is 8-10 hours. Dealing with school, after-school activities, homework, and sometimes part-time jobs, can often intervene with the amount of sleep us teenagers are receiving.

Daily tasks like waking up early in the morning to attend school, working late night shifts and having to still stay up late to complete homework and other school assignments, has taken a toll on many of us. For instance, DeBakey High School junior Getzemany Castellanos, says that learning to balance school and work has caused her feelings of stress and anxiety, with so much to do in only so many hours of the day.

“Having a part time job while attending school and completing assignments on time is exhausting and can be quite frustrating,” Castellanos said. “Everyone at school including me is exhausted.”

The effects of sleep deprivation can range, as it affects our academic potential and mental health. Experts say over a third of teens only get five to six hours a night. According to a National Sleep Foundation poll, more than 87% of high school students in the United States get far less than the recommended eight to ten hours, and the amount of time they sleep is only decreasing over time. This is a serious threat to our health and academic success. Teens may face negative consequences, including the inability to concentrate, poor academic performance, and mental health problems.

Mental health

Lack of sleep can interfere with an individual’s mental health, as a person can become more likely to develop mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and stress. Especially if the cycle of sleep deprivation is prolonged. Being a teenager alone already increases the chances of developing a mental health condition compared to other age groups, and lack of sleep would only worsen it. For instance, it can increase anxiety and/or depression, which can even lead to thoughts of suicide or suicidal attempts.

Academic Success

Adolescents can also face negative changes in their academic performance. From loss of concentration, focus and even motivation due to insufficient energy, this can eventually lead to overall academic failure. It could even affect one’s future if it develops into a long-term habit, and damage to an opportunity of getting into a dream college can be at stake.