Walking Zombies: Sleep Deprivation And You

Walking Zombies: Sleep Deprivation And You

Photo courtesy of ameritasinsight.com

Mandy Noethe, Features Writer

The dreadful week of finals has arrived at Eagan High School, and nearly every student has found themselves staying up later and later. Along with so many other extra curricular activities going on, the extra amount of studying and homework has been hitting EHS hard. Many students are finding themselves in the “Sleep Deprivation Vortex”. We all have to admit that at one point in time we’ve fallen asleep in class. Waking up with drool on your textbook and being chewed out by the teacher isn’t exactly going to make a perfect day. However, sleep deprivation is rising not only throughout our high school, but throughout the entire country.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers are proven to need at least 8.5-9.2 hours of sleep each night, but only 15% of teenagers are actually meeting this requirement. Losing this much sleep every night can damage the ability to think and perform well with school. It has also been proven that not meeting the sleeping requirements can also show an increase in acne. Driving can even become a problem. When you are sleep deprived, you are considered to be as impaired as driving with a blood alcohol level of .08%, which is usually illegal. Levels of depression and anxiety also rise during the school year, with a big factor being that people are not receiving enough sleep. Another article – ”Sleep deprivation and teens: ‘Walking zombies”, by Valerie Strauss, states that students who stay up later during the night are proven to perform worse in school the following days.

Avoiding sleep deprivation during the school year can be a tough beast to overcome, but there are a few ways to get around it. Turning off electronics and listening to calm music can help to relax you right before you go to bed so that you can fall asleep faster. Moving our caffeine rituals to earlier in the day rather than later will also help. Although its hard to give up our Monsters, and coffee drinks, caffeine that is consumed after 6 or 7 at night will prevent one from falling asleep easier. Getting enough sleep to avoid the life of a sleep deprived teenager is certainly hard, but hopefully throughout time we can try to overcome it.