Adolescent Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Effects, and Prevention

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Adolescent Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Effects, and Prevention Adolescent sleep deprivation is a common problem in today’s society, and it is also a very dangerous one. There have been numerous studies done to determine the causes of sleep deprivation in teenagers, the most prevalent being teens not getting enough sleep due to things like jobs and early school start times. There are many perceived dangers of this, such as sleepiness while driving and a risk for hypertension. There are a few ways to prevent these problems, ranging from parents stepping in to ensure teens get the proper amount of sleep to changing school start times to a later hour. Adolescent sleep deprivation is something that everyone, parents and teens alike, should be aware of and take part in lessening the risks that it can pose. Two common causes of adolescent sleep deprivation are: early school start times and part-time jobs. Early school start times have been a topic of debate for years. By staggering the times that the different grade schools are in session the districts are able to cut down on costs, but studies have shown that this is done possibly at the risk of the student’s health. School start times limit the amount of time that is available to a student for sleep, and are normally set without consideration for sleep schedules (Carskadon, p. 492). By starting school early in the mornings, students are not always able to get the needed amount of sleep in order to avoid deprivation. Part-time jobs also hinder a teen’s ability to sleep enough. One study showed that, in the 1980’s, thirty percent of the students surveyed held jobs that required them to work 20 hours or more in a school week (Carskadon, p. 491). Thanks to a study that began in 1976 and continued for around six years, we know that teens require about 9 ¼ hours of sleep per night (Carskadon, p. 490). In Clark County, high schools start at 7:05 am which means students must wake up roughly no later than 6:00 am...
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