Sleep Study

The adverse effects of sleep deficiencies

People rarely meet their sleep needs, not allotting their bodies enough time to rest and repair. High schoolers in particular miss out on the proper 8-10 hours, causing focus to deteriorate and bad habits to form. Sleeping enough each night allows for optimal performance in school, sports, health, thought processes.   

Teenagers are often the most prevalent victims of sleep insufficiencies. Between school, work, extracurriculars, meals, social times, and homework – it can be hard to get 8 hours of sleep every day. The busy teenagers of BHS are well versed in the routines and outcomes of sleep deprivation. Battlefield junior, Elizabeth Lee, reports sleeping only 4-5 hours a night, and such little rest causing her to be, “tired throughout the day, and end up falling asleep during class.” Lee places blame on her homework load. Plenty of students feel the pressures of competition and college applications, which encourage them to take on more schoolwork than is healthy. The most common sacrifice is sleep in an effort to free up time to study or do homework. 

Lack of sleep brings about an array of unnecessary bad habits. One of the most popular teenage customs is a caffeine addiction. No matter what double mocha – no foam – almond milk – light ice – upside down – two pumps of raspberry – extra whip – frappuccino Starbucks comes up with next; caffeine cannot replace sleep. Unfortunately, sleepless nights often lead high schoolers to reach for the sugary concoctions, as Rachael Kim admits doing. As a result of her 5 hours of sleep a night, Kim says, “it’s hard to function unless I drink coffee or caffeinated tea, plus I crash really hard.” Per the norm of BHS students, both Lee and Kim are involved in Battlefield athletics and multiple clubs. Despite their busy schedules, an additional 3-4 hours a night could help them, and plenty of others who lean on caffeine to stay focused, leave the coffee behind. 

Insufficient sleep is also a contributor to weight gain. When people do not sleep enough, they are more likely to choose unhealthy options and eat more overall to make up for what they lost in terms of energy. Stress and pressures are also much more difficult to manage on inadequate sleep. Tired minds cannot function the way critical thinking requires in order to sidestep overreactions and solve problems rationally. Sleep Foundation says, “When you are sleep deprived, you are as impaired as driving with a blood alcohol content of .08%.” Sleep deprivation can be, not only aggravating, but dangerous. Though prioritizing sleep may seem impossible, its rewards are worth the effort.