By Brooke Markworth and Aisha Aden, Staff Writers
Sleep is the condition of the body and mind that relaxes the nervous system, making it an important factor in maintaining our health. Yet, more than a third of Americans do not get the recommended amount of sleep they need. For teens, a heavy academic workload can contribute to their sleep schedules.
How many hours of sleep per night do people need? A report from The National Sleep Foundation breaks down the information into age categories. Adults older than 18 need seven to nine hours of sleep; school-age children and teenagers need eight to 11 hours for their best health and daily performance...
Not getting enough sleep can have a negative impact on your health in various ways. High blood pressure, diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes can occur if you go on with your day without enough sleep. It also affects a person’s memory and has been proven to raise the risk of a car accident. A person who does not get enough sleep may also become less motivated to do daily tasks. Over time, sleep deprivation can also cause premature wrinkling and dark circles. For teens who suffer from anxiety and depression, it can make their symptoms worse and have a significant effect on their mental health.
Many teens are exposed to blue light from their phones, a type of light with short wavelengths emitting a very high energy, which can impact their sleep schedules. Blue light from technology devices is even worse than the sun’s natural blue light. Our brains use blue light to know the difference between day and night. Spending time on devices late at night tricks your body into keeping you awake. What keeps you awake during the day can severely impact your sleep at night.
The number one cause for sleep insomnia is having inadequate sleep hygiene. To maintain good sleep hygiene, stay off your cell phone before you go to bed and have a consistent sleep schedule. Neurologist Devin Bissoon from Sanford Sleep Clinic says “Improving sleep hygiene and keeping the same bed time and wake-up time is very essential for a teenager’s health.” For those who don’t get enough sleep, there are medications or supplements to help them, such as melatonin, a natural hormone that when taken in supplements can tell our body that it’s time to sleep.
What it all comes down to is simple; sleep is the process that keeps our body healthy and functional, and it should be prioritized when managing our time. As for teens, an extra hour of rest will likely be much more beneficial than forcing your body to stay up and study. A well-rested brain is a better-working brain!
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All feature news content is produced by students in the Newspaper program at West Fargo Sheyenne High School.