Sleep Deprivation and Teenagers

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As a teenager and a first year post-secondary student, I can argue that as we get older, our amount of sleep gradually decreases. You have probably heard of the saying “The More, The Merrier,” and you might assume that according to this research paper, it means “The More Sleep, The Better,” but in reality and as a society, we believe that it means if you work more, do more, and do everything as fast as possible, you will achieve great success. The problem is that we have adapted to such a negative and wrong motto that it is affecting each and every single one of us teenagers. We need to be reminded of the consequences sleep deprivation has on important aspects of our lives, such as both mental and physical well-being, school, jobs, family, and relationships.

Millions of students seek ways to keep themselves awake for a longer period of time and throughout the day. Popular culture has responded to our needs by creating material goods such as energy drinks, coffee, electronics, and pills. It might keep individuals awake and might make them believe that they are full of energy, but at what point does the body and mind get the required nine hours of rest in order to function to its maximum capability?

Students prioritize their lives but health seems to be one of the last on their mind. A recent survey by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that, “only 15% of teenagers regularly get the nine hours of sleep they need each night” (Foldvary-Schaefer, p.9). This means Bhullar 2

that the other 85% are falling beneath the required amount. Lack of sleep can mean that the body is more vulnerable to diseases and virus attacks. At the same time it can interfere with memory, concentration, mood swings, mental abilities, and weight gain, just to name a few. Such things can lead to other problems like bulimia, loss of job, failure in school, and physical accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are as many as 100,000 car...
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