The Importance of Teens and Sleep
Story by Livi Rodman Photo by Amy Vallejos
September 30, 2021
Sleeping is a normal part of life. So normal that people usually forget it’s there since it’s heavily ingrained into their routine. However, 70% of adults don’t get enough sleep every night leaving them tired and less productive the next day. This problem is even worse for teenangers. Teens are occupied with many distractions: school, work, family, friends, and one of the biggest issues, their phones. It’s easy for someone to become addicted to their phone since a palm sized device contains a piece of their life. Not only that but the stress that teens experience because of school is incredibly high. Many Brighton high school students feel that school is one of the largest reasons they don’t get enough sleep.
In a recent survey of 470 BHS students, 25% of students said they get between four and five hours of sleep and 48% said they get between six and seven hours. Additionally, 57% said that their sleep schedule is not consistent. Most students also stated that they go to bed after 11:00 pm, with some going to sleep as late as 3:00 am.
So why is it so important for teens to get a good night's sleep? A person's teenage years are some of the most important stages for their development. Not getting enough sleep during those years can affect brain development since the brain isn’t fully developed until age 25. Not only that, but a good night's sleep can make the heart stronger. Lack of sleep can release a stress hormone called cortisol which triggers the heart to push itself to work harder. Not getting enough sleep can be extremely dangerous as well. A study completed by AAA foundation of Traffic Safety shows that those who get 6-7 hours of sleep are twice as likely to get into a car accident compared to those who have a full 8 hours. The chance increases even more when it’s teens in the conversation. 16-19 year olds have not been driving for long, so getting behind the wheel with sleep deprivation early in the morning to get to school can be very dangerous for them, and the people around them. 13-19 year olds should be getting 8-10 hours of sleep every night to ensure a healthy and safe lifestyle.