Sleep deprivation is one of the common problems that teenagers face.
Teenagers have to meet the demands of school, sports, extracurricular activities, homework and after school jobs. They need to sleep more than the adults. According to medical researchers, teenagers should sleep for at least 8 to 10 hours.
During puberty their body and mind undergoes numerous physical and emotional changes. They go through a phase in which they find it difficult to fall asleep. There may be a delay of about two hours in falling asleep. So they may be able to sleep only around 11 pm and get just 7 hours of sleep as they have to get up early to go to school.
Many teenagers get up around 6:30 am so that they can reach school by 7:30 am. People think that getting up early is good training for their lives as adults. However, they are unaware that this lack of sleep creates a great disturbance in the teenager’s life.
Impact of Sleep Deprivation on Teenagers
Chronic lack of sleep can turn teenagers into walking zombies. It affects their overall performance and behavior both at school and at home. Sometimes they even pose a threat to the safety of the community at large.
In school, it may cause disciplinary problems, poor concentration, sleepiness in the class, and low grades. A study shows that students who begin school at 7:20 am often become pathologically sleepy around 8:30 am. They tend to feel sleepy during the afternoon. They become irritable and have mood swings.
Records show that fatigue and drowsiness cause over 100,000 accidents per year. Many of these accidents are caused by teenage drivers. Lack of experience and driving at the most crowded times of the day may make it difficult for a sleepy teenage driver to negotiate the traffic. Needing to reach school on time adds to early morning stress and makes them easy targets of road accidents.
How To Reverse The Situation
Some people may suggest that the best way to correct the situation is to ask teenagers to go to bed earlier. However, this may not be possible. Another probable cure could be that the school schedule should be altered to suit the needs of the adolescent students. The schools can start at a little later time so that the students get sufficient sleep and the harm caused by sleepy teens is averted.
Local legislators, school administrators and parents should grasp the negative impact that sleep deprivation has on the youngsters and make efforts to rectify the situation.
Adequate sleep will help the teenagers to cope up with their emotional problems. As a consequence, they will likely behave in a better manner both at home and in school. They will be able to interact well in society. Their performance at school will likely improve. Additionally, there will likely be far less road accidents due to sleepy teens.