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Why Teenagers Don't Get Enough Sleep?

By karciaCZ May 06, 2013 1025 Words
“According to the survey results, once a week roughly one-quarter of high school students fall asleep in class, 22% fall asleep doing homework and 14% are late to or miss school because of insufficient sleep. Are/were you one of these students? Do you know these students? Why are America’s teenagers not getting sufficient sleep, in your view?

After reading an essay written by National Sleep Foundation about America’s sleep – deprived teens, I was shocked to learn how many teenagers are not getting enough sleep at night, and how dangerous the lack of sleep is. How many of us heard from our parents to go to sleep and ignore it. I was for sure one of them and many of my classmates as well. Sleeping during the class, lack of concentration, disturbing behavior to prevent falling asleep are known to all of us who had problem with getting enough time for sleep. To get sufficient sleep teenagers should get eight to nine hours of sleep each day but the truth is most of teens sleeps only six to seven hours. The main question for me is why America’s teenagers are not getting enough sleep? There are many reasons for which adolescents don’t get enough sleep, which are: biological factors, technology, environment and social expectations, food and drinks, as well as school. When the child transforms into the teenager and experience poverty its body goes thru a lot of changes. In addition, changes occur in the biological clock during adolescence, creating a natural tendency to fall asleep later and wake up later. Also, his or her body has changes in the amount of hormones which cause the problem with falling asleep earlier to get enough sleep for the next day. Moreover, one study indicated that secretion of melatonin, a hormone that prepares the body for sleep, occurs later and later in the evening as a child goes through adolescence and shuts off later in the morning. Because of all the changes which teens body is going thru, it is hard for them to fall asleep before 11 at night. However, most of the teenagers have to wake up for school at 6:30 in the morning which leaves them roughly with 7 hours of sleep and leaving them without the sleep they need. Another one and the most famous factor why teenagers are not getting enough sleep is technology. Modern teen has in his room TV, game consoles, phone, tablet, computer, and internet all which are very disturbing for a young mind. Average teenagers spend four to five hours using technology. Instead of sleeping, teens are spending more time staying awake to use their portable electronics. A recent study showed that teens sleep with their cell phones, text messaging back and forth. Even when they do sleep, they still keep their phones within the vicinity. Then, they are able to wake up the moment they receive a text. They don’t go to sleep because they want to watch their favorite shows which will keep them awake for the long time pass their bedtime. Additionally, playing games before going to sleep makes it more difficult to fall asleep. Doctors say, that at least one hour before going to sleep adolescents should put away all of their technological gadgets away in order to be able to relax and fall asleep more easily. A lot of children face environmental and social problems with getting a good amount of sleep. Adolescents seem to be particularly vulnerable to sleep disruptions caused by social stress, fear or anxiety. They are very sensitive on the things happening around them. Most of the teens experience difficult family situations like: divorced parents, one parent family, or extended family living together. Also, everything they see and hear stays with them which make it harder for them to relax when there is time for bed. Social life for today’s teen is very vibrant. All the time connected with their friends thru social media makes them under instant pressure to be the first to know and be the best. They will not go to sleep before checking many times what their friends are doing. Constant stress and anxiety prevent teenager from the quality sleep time. At the same time, we can see that what teens eat and drink has a big effect on their sleep pattern. As we all know the phrase, that sugar and coffee makes us hyper and over stimulated. In addition, it prevents us from sleep. Many teens drink more than one caffeine product each day and eat a lot of sugar products. Eating too close to bedtime can cause heartburn and discomfort in the chest. Any snack before bedtime should be small and light. Last but not the least factor, why teenagers don’t get enough sleep is school and pressure from the society to be the best. Because of the school, they have to wake up earlier than the body clock tells them to, which leaves them tired and sleep deprived. Moreover, instant pressure of being the best pushes children to join extra-curricular activities very often after school. Consequently, it doesn’t leave much free time for teens to enjoy themselves before going to sleep. That’s why they skip valuable hours of sleep. Many teens worry so much about the school and their accomplishments that they are having trouble falling asleep. In the long run, teens have to learn how to cope with stress and how better organize their time between school and friends. In conclusion, I found the answer for my question why teenagers don’t get enough sleep? Founding the answer for this question was very interesting. I learn that there is not one factor but many factors which influence the sleep pattern and all of them are equally important. In short biology, technology, environment, what and when we eat, as well as school are the keys to understand why American’s teenagers lack of sleep. Bibliography:

Behrens and Rosen, Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum, 11th edition, pages 483-489.

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