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Three Hours Short: Sleep Deprivation in Teens.

Nick woke up to his blaring alarm. He rubbed his eyes with a yawn and got ready for school. By second block he was sound asleep once again on his desk, for the fifth time that week. There are many students like “Nick” across the nation, and it has become a major problem in teenagers.

A study by the Nationwide Children’s hospital revealed that adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18 must get a minimum of 9.5 hours of sleep each night in order to perform efficiently during the day. The same study shows that the average amount of sleep received by teenagers ages 13-18 is only 7 to 7.5 hours. Though this amount may seem to be a small margin, it can play a major role in the teenager’s lives.

Freshman Ethan Mick claims to achieve only around 7 to 8 hours a night but he doesn’t view sleep as a major concern.

“Not really, I mean like in the afternoon at home it does but not at school,” Mick said.

Freshman Will Wright said that he receives an average of 5-7 hours most nights. However Wright’s and Mick’s views on sleep do not align well.

“Sleep is very important except somethings are more mandatory than sleep like chores or homework,” Wright said.

Approximately 90 percent of teens are sleep deprived and almost 20 percent receive less than 5 hours a night.Only 9 percent of teens get the necessary 9 hours. 1 in 4 teens go to bed after 11: 30 p.m. This statistic applies to multiple students at South including Freshman Andrea Springer who reportedly goes to bed at 12:30 most nights. This extreme lack of rest can lead to behavioral problems and are 3 times more likely to suffer from depression.

Lack of sleep can also lead to a decrease in Academic Ability. This is because sleep supports the brains process of analyzing data which aids in memorization.

Wright claims that sleep does in fact affect his concentration.

“Sometimes it is very hard to focus and sometimes if I’m up for a very long time, I start seeing things,” Wright said.

Springer claims that her lack of sleep can sometimes lead to the same difficulties in concentration.

“Because of school I always get less than 8 hours and because of that I feel that I can’t perform to the best of my ability,” Springer said .

According to Springer, the leading cause of her losing sleep is a combination of homework and restlessness.

Freshman Mason Wheeler stated that he is also often left restless in the evening.

“I don’t know, my mind is just awake and I’m not tired,” he said.

If changes in the sleep schedules of teens are not made, “Nick” will continue to press the snooze button and continue his routine of sleeping during a lecture.

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