Student Survey on Sleep Deprivation

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Sleep deprivation: eighty percent of our students are dealing with it, yet no one talks about it. In the beginning of October, I conducted a Google survey to poll the Upper School on how much sleep they are getting each night. The results were shocking. The majority of students only get five to six hours of sleep each night, which is dramatically under the recommended average for high school students. Studies show that adolescents in high school need at least nine hours of sleep each night. Lack of sleep is having negative impacts on not only students ability to focus and concentrate in class, but also their mental and physical health. Over fifty percent of students report that when they are feeling tired, they have increased mood swings, and feelings of depression or anxiety. They also report appetite changes, memory problems, and severe migraines. This can be attributed the the excessive use of cell phones found in teenagers. PE Hub reports that over eighty seven percent of teens sleep with their cell phones right next to them. This parallels our data that finds eighty two percent of students sleep with their cell phones right next to them. However, reports show that using your cell phone in bed is extremely bad for sleep because the screen emits a blue light that inhibits the production of the sleep inducing hormone melatonin. Phone use (50%) and the leading cause, homework (85%) are the two major factors among the many reasons students reported preventing them from getting the recommended amount of sleep. Other factors inhibiting sleep among our students include watching TV and Netflix, friends and family conflicts, as well as the lack of time due to sports and other extracurriculars. To solve this problem, over fifty percent of people report drinking caffeine to help stay awake, or taking melatonin supplements to help sleep at night. Forty perfect of people say that their lack of sleep is negatively affecting their grades. But as anonymous survey taker number 49 says, “I’m too woke to sleep.”

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