How important is sleep to teenagers?


| 8 Comments
sleeping-student.jpg

There have been several blog posts about this issue throughout the course of the semester, but due to upcoming finals, students will probably tend to sleep less and study more. However, this is completely unproductive in the final outcome. The common misconception among students is that the more you study, then the higher your grades will be. But this is false when it comes to giving up sleep. Without a sufficient amount of sleep, people can begin to experience difficulty concentrating, learning, and listening. Those are three imperative tools to get a good grade on an exam. So in the end, it is actually beneficial for you to sleep that extra hour or two the night before a big exam than stay up cram studying.

So what is a sufficient amount of sleep for a college student? Reports show that 9 hours and 15 minutes of sleep is the ideal amount of sleep per night for a teenager but said that kids can get away with 8 hours and 30 minutes if needed. However, if students regularly receive an insufficient amount of sleep, they can also start to experience health issues. Lack of sleep has been know to cause weight gain, acne, and aggressive behavior among teenagers. So just think to yourself the next time you're planning on pulling an all nighter, is it worth it?




8 Comments

After reading this article and seeing that you can potentially gain weight from lack of sleep... I've decided I will most likely force myself to sleep early every night. I'm a total insomniac, and I occasionally consider myself nocturnal. I ruined my sleep pattern upon coming to Penn State this fall. My roommate and I don't get to bed til after 2 a.m. almost every night, but she rarely goes to class so she gets to sleep all day. I feel as though I've grown accustomed to it but that's probably not true. I read a blog earlier this semester about the weight gain but I didn't think twice, but now that I've heard it a second time that bothers me. I've never pulled a complete all nighter this semester and I hope I never do during my time here at Penn State because putting my health at risk isn't worth it.

This topic is really interesting and relevant to college kids, especially with finals coming around the corner. Students tend to stay up all night and cram which does nothing good for them. Instead they should be studying and getting a full nights sleep. I found an article by Medical News Today (given below) that says, "A teen who regularly gets enough sleep will have improved academic performance, a positive attitude towards their education, and be able to better interact socially with their peers and teachers. Students can also remember better what they learned if they get a good night's sleep after learning the task. Sleep deprivation, on the other hand, increases the incidence of academic failure, depression and behavioral problems." This shows exactly why kids should be getting a full nights rest in order to perform successfully academically.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/93257.php

While this is usually specific to youth lack of sleep negatively affects all ages. While in the military they teach you to cope with these problems through various exercises. While I do not like going without sleep I can its just after day three I have the articulation of a newborn baby.

Some other health effects that you didn't touch on are heart problems. Not sleeping can cause murmurs and even heart attacks if it continues for long periods of time often. There is a great article in TIME about it I'll put in this comment as well.

TIME article

I agree that an insufficient amount of sleep is bad for teenagers. I never understand people who pull all nighters to study for their tests or do homework. I am always a big advocate of sleep instead of over working myself. In high school I had friends who wouldn't start their work until one am and go to sleep at three or four in the morning. I would always come home from school and do my homework right away and go to sleep early. I always felt refreshed the next day and ready for school, while my classmates were always so tired. I think that sleep helps you concentrate more, so personally I wouldn't pull an all-nighter to study because I would just feel so exhausted the next day. According to the Washington post, "failing to get enough sleep or sleeping at odd hours heightens the risk for a variety of major illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity, recent studies indicate." If you don't get enough sleep, you will not be ready for your day and therefore eat more to get more energy, so it will also cause weight gain. When you sleep, your body recharges and cleans you out, so without it I am not surprised that people can become increasingly unhealthy.

I am a proponent of getting a good night's sleep. However, there are times where I feel the need to stay up and catch up on some of my work. I realize it isn't the healthiest thing for my body, but every once in a while I'll suffer through it. And to the argument about sleeping an extra hour or two instead of cramming, I sometimes find cramming to be the best method for rote memorization. I see how lack of sleep can harm my health, but I'm going to live my life the way I want to and not let a scientists research determine how I live.

I completely agree on how much a good night sleep can benefit students especially as a student who can rarely ever get more than 4-5 hours a night. Unfortunately I have to work 25-30 hours a week just to stay afloat. Along with homework and everything else that comes with being a student here that does not leave much time for sleep. I find myself trying to catch up on sleep on the weekends, but for some reason I end up feeling just as tired if not more tired from doing so. I looked at an article on the national sleep foundation website and it talks about sleep debt and oversleeping. While it is possible to in essence pay back sleep debt, oversleeping may not be the best answer. While some people work well with 7 hours of sleep other may need 9 to function properly. There is no set number for everyone for the best number of hours to sleep a night. So oversleeping may be in some ways counterproductive.

Yes, there is a opposite side to this argument and that involves oversleeping. When people oversleep, their bodies get used to that amount of sleep which is very unhealthy. One of the comments above talks about how the military trains people to not need as much sleep so they can serve the country for more hours of the day. I realize this is possible and common, but the long term effect on the body could be detrimental. Also, genetics plays a role into whether or not people need that amount of sleep. Here is a cool article on it.

http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/anatomyandphysiology/a/genetics.htm

Dan, I liked this article. I actually did an article on why people need sleep in general and the different types of sleep and their effects. If were going to talk in technicalities, then when we talk about needing sleep, we talk about needing R.E.M or rapid eye movement sleep. This is the stage of sleeping where we have our most lucid and vivid dreams and wake up feeling most rested. The amount of r.e.m sleep one would be healthy with is 2 hours a night, which is you sleep 9 hours and 15 minutes, you are surely to get. However, an experiment was done where people would stay up and sleep for only about 2 and half to 3 hours per day. However, when they would sleep it would only be r.e.m sleep. So, if one can master the art of only falling asleep into r.e.m, 2-3 hours a day would do the trick. Here is an article on the stages of sleep and r.e.m:
http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/sleep-101

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