How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Teens?

Students talk about the effects of sleep deprivation.

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Lilly Michel

Though teens may love staying in their bed for as much as possible (as for most people), they really struggle to get an adequate amount of a bed’s primary function – sleep.

Lilly Michel, Reporter

Lack of a sufficient sleep schedule leads to detrimental health issues such as a risk of heart diseases, memory issues, strokes, and depression. From pulling an all-nighter to finish writing an English essay due the next morning, to staying up until 3:00 in the morning watching TikToks, sleep does not seem to be a priority in many teens’ eyes.

Sleep deprivation deeply affects teens everywhere and Carlsbad High is no exception. The reasons vary for each individual. A poor sleep schedule may be more common among your peers than you think. Senior Sofia Araujo gives a few suggestions on why sleep deprivation is so common for teens.

“I feel like it’s because teens tend to go to bed a lot later than adults and children because they’re occupied by other things. And going to bed at like 1:00 am and waking up at 7:00 am can be really challenging [to accomplish],” Araujo said.

Although sleep deprivation is an issue that will seemingly last, there may be solutions to reduce the probability of being sleep deprived. School typically starting at 7:30 in the morning is a key factor in the decline of proper sleep schedules among students.

“I honestly think school starting later would help the most for me because I don’t see enforcing an earlier bedtime for teens working very well,” Junior Emy Oho said.

There has been promising evidence that sleep deprivation increases teen car accidents, poor grades, and a variety of emotional problems. Pushing back school start times to allow for more sleep is advocated by many as a promising solution.

“[The adjustment of] school schedules could do more to improve education and reduce teen accidents and crime than many more expensive initiatives’” U.S Representative Zoe Lofgren from the American Psychological Association said.

Students are also slowly finding their own personal solutions to attain something closer to the proper amount of sleep needed. Generally, teenagers should be receiving about 9.2 hours of sleep per night. The standard eight-hour suggestion may be sufficient for some adolescents, but that extra hour can really be beneficial in reducing the common longing to sleep during classes.

“I try to have a set time where I have all my homework done and [give] time for me to have my own time. I turn off my technology, put my homework away, and go to sleep. I try to give myself at least eight hours so I can have a good night’s sleep,” Junior Jennifer Pantoja said.