Ready, Set, Sleep!

December 10, 2010
By Ryano BRONZE, Rolla, Missouri
Ryano BRONZE, Rolla, Missouri
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Be the change you wish to see in the world" - Gandhi

Aaron goes to bed at 9 P.M. and tosses and turns. He finally drifts to sleep at 11 P.M. Getting out of bed every morning is an extreme challenge, and Monday mornings are miserable. He wishes that he could go to sleep earlier and wake up more easily but he knows that it seems like he can’t do anything about the time he gets to bed. Unfortunately for Aaron, the time he goes to bed is out of his control for now, anyway. I am like Aaron. According to, some studies have shown that during the teen years, the body’s circadium rhythm (like an internal biological clock) is temporarily… thrown off, telling teens to fall asleep later and wake up later. This means that it is natural for some of us to not be able to get to sleep until 11:00 P.M. But since school starts at the same time, typically at eight o’clock, we lose the opportunity to sleep. Staying up late then getting hungry can result in weight gain from snacking, sleep deprivation can also make teens prone to pimples.

Teenagers today don’t get enough sleep, which can affect us emotionally, academically, and physically. We teenagers tend to want to stay up late then sleep in late. Research shows that the brain hormone melatonin is produced later at night. Melatonin doesn’t just make us sleepy– it tells the brain that it is time to go to bed. When melatonin is produced later at night, teen’s bodies don’t get the message that it is time to wrap up and get some shuteye.
Research has shown that sleep shortage limits the ability to learn, listen, concentrate, and solve problems. And, according to, insufficient sleep has been shown to cause difficulties in school, including disciplinary problems, sleepiness in class, and poor concentration. Sleep defecit has been linked to poorer grades in school. states that teens shouldn’t stay up late at night to study for a big test the next day. “Cutting back on sleep may mean that you perform worse on a test than you would if you studied less but got more sleep.”

As well as physical and emotional problems, under sleeping has been tied to emotional problems such as feelings of sadness and depression. It has also been known to cause aggressive behavior, like yelling and hitting. James Gangwisch PhD, of Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues reported in the January first issue of Sleep that “In addition to depression, adolescents with later bedtimes also had a greater risk of having suicidal thoughts.” The researchers also said that lack of sleep could impair your judgment, concentration, and impulse control (the ability to say no to impulses).

However, don’t think the more sleep the better. Oversleeping, averaging more than ten hours per night, can have negative consequences, too. According to WebMD, oversleeping has been linked to diabetes, obesity, headaches, back pain, depression, heart disease, and even death. How do you know the amount that is right for you? Test yourself a night or two to see what’s best.

Sleep deprivation can be hazardous to your health emotionally, physically, and academically. Getting the right amount of sleep is important. A brain that is hungry for sleep will get sleep, even when you don’t expect it.

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