Sleep: Best Chance at Survival

Zia Sampson, Managing Editor and Business Manager

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Everyone sleeps. Rather, everyone should sleep. It is essential for one’s survival, but more importantly, for one’s sanity. When someone is well rested, they are more likely to be productive, healthy, and relaxed.

For teenagers, well rested means eight to ten hours of deep sleep. However, most teens rarely get this much. “I usually only get five hours,” attested senior Nicole Ardovino. And, by some teens’ standards, five hours is a good night. Such large amounts of sleep deprivation result in a myriad of health problems: a weakened immune system, weight gain, and an altered hormone production rate. Besides the physical effects, there is a lot of mental anguish. People are more likely to be in a depressed and irritable mood, are forgetful, and fight a lack of motivation.

But what causes this lack of sleep? For teens, it is a mix of things. People in this generation are expected to do so much – take advanced classes, be in after-school clubs, play a sport, get a part-time job, spend time with family, have a social life, and sleep. There just is not enough time in the day to do it all; something has to give, and sleep seems like the best option.

Of course, it is not. Instead, society’s expectations need to be more realistic. While all of these things are amazing ways to spend time, it is vital to prioritize what one can do. What is most important? What is most enjoyable? Focus on these two questions and it will be a little easier to cut something from your schedule.

Prioritize sleep. It is easier to do handle all of the crazy things in your schedule if you have the energy that sleep gives you.