The Need for Sleep



A whopping 20 percent of teens are getting by on less than five hours per night

Sleep is food for the brain. About 87% of American high school students are chronically sleep-deprived, according to a 2006 survey from the National Sleep Foundation. Teenagers are recommended nine hours of sleep each night. The National Institutes of Health found that only nine percent of high school students are actually meeting these recommendations. Even more alarming is a whopping 20 percent are getting by on less than five hours per night. Lack of sleep is primarily caused by stress and excessive amounts of homework.

High school puts a lot of stress on students. It is their time to show their best in order to one day impress colleges. Students know that Ivy League Colleges like Harvard University, Dartmouth College, Princeton University and Yale University look for students that push themselves.

“Yes, I feel like the amount of stressed that I’m out under to excel in school is causing me to lose sleep at night,” said junior Hala Khasawneh.

It is known that taking advanced placement classes and honors classes are noticed by colleges.

This pushes students to take harder classes to separate themselves from the rest of the applicants, putting more stress on the students to make themselves better than the rest of their class. Also, stress comes from the amount of tests that students have in one day. It is common to have multiple tests in a day. This leaves students studying late into the night, causing them to lose sleep. Getting less sleep before test days is not healthy for students and makes it hard for them to focus the following day.

When entering high school, most students are told school will become much more difficult. It takes a firsthand experience in high school; however, to realize that the nightly workload significantly increases from that of middle school. Many students take part in extracurriculars, whether it is clubs, sports, or volunteering. On game days, students get home later than usual, leaving them up late each night finishing homework that is due the following day.

The stress of being overworked at school creates a lack of sleep for teens.

“It depends on the day and how much homework I get, or if I have to study for tests,” said Aymen Seyda.

The homework that a student will get each night is unpredictable and makes it harder on students to plan for a particular amount of homework.

It is necessary for students to get the right amount of sleep each night, but with constant stress and tons of homework it becomes a constant battle between going to sleep or focusing on school.