School, work, clubs, sports, chores, extracurriculars and a social life – it can be hard to keep a teen’s busy schedule. But are all of these activities more important than health?
At CHS, we have a culture of sleep deprivation. Because students are so focused and driven, many of them spread themselves too thin and do not allot enough time for sleep. It’s the norm to get home from activities late and stay up well into the night studying. In an October Inkblot survey, only 15 percent of students said they got an adequate amount of sleep each night. Seventy-four percent of students said they got five to seven hours of sleep on average and ll percent reported even less. This sleepless culture must stop, and the school needs to get involved to make this happen. CHS can work towards ending sleep deprivation by banning the use of school emails past 7 p.m.
Adolescents need eight to ten hours of sleep each night to properly function, but only 15 percent of teens get eight and a half hours of sleep on school nights. Teens have dangerously irregular sleep patterns, getting too little sleep on weeknights and getting a lot on the weekends, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
The effects of sleep deprivation are detrimental to teenagers. During this time of development, it is vital for adolescents to rest. Lack of sleep negatively affects concentration, listening, learning, memory and problem solving. This makes it extremely difficult to be successful inside the classroom. Small amounts of sleep can lead to unhealthy eating, weight gain, acne and depression.
In 2006, a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that depressed teens were more likely to be sleep deprived and have sleeping problems.
Schools must encourage good sleeping habits and do whatever they can to help students get to bed earlier. At CHS, school emails should be disabled past 7 p.m. It’s nearly impossible to get to bed at a reasonable hour when your phone is buzzing with emails from clubs, teachers and classmates.
In the same Inkblot survey, 68 percent of sophomores, juniors and seniors said they have had a teacher email them a modified assignment past 7 p.m. to be handed in the next day. Although it is often hard to complete school assignments and many students get home late from sports, activities and jobs, the hours past seven must be reserved for relaxation and sleep. A small step the administrators, teachers and students can take toward more alert, productive, happier and healthier teens is limiting school email use.