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Not Enough Sleep? You’re Not Alone

Dr.+Koch+tweeted+this+picture+of+a+sleepy+student+in+the+library+January+17%2C+2017.
Dr. Koch tweeted this picture of a sleepy student in the library January 17, 2017.

Dr. Koch tweeted this picture of a sleepy student in the library January 17, 2017.

@SKochPR

@SKochPR

Dr. Koch tweeted this picture of a sleepy student in the library January 17, 2017.

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Not getting enough sleep? Teens at Prairie Ridge get less than 8 hrs of sleep each night and it affects the way they feel at school.

According to Healthline, sleep deprivation can cause lots of yawning and feeling sluggish all day. Your emotions are also affected, making you more likely to have mood swings and short temper. Lack of sleep interferes with decision making and your ability to focus and learn new things.

The average amount of sleep teens get is around 7 hrs, when really, Sleep Foundation says teens need 8-10 hrs of sleep each night to function best.

Freshman Neisha Jean Louis says, “I get 6 hours, and I’m kind of awake at school, but I feel tired.” Students feel that sleep can affect their health as well. Collin Preves, freshman at PR says, “I feel like I’d be more healthier and would complain less if I got more sleep.” Also, due to lack of sleep students feel inactive during the day. Senior Ryan Briske says, “I get 6 hours. I feel sluggish sometimes, but I’m usually awake.”

According to Dr. Judith Owens, who wrote the 2014 American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement School Start Times for Adolescents, on adolescents who get enough sleep “have better grades, higher standardized test scores and an overall better quality of life.” But some teens at Prairie Ridge would disagree. Sophomore Sarah Hildebrandt says, “I get 4 or 5 hrs each night, and I still feel awake at school.”

When students are awake and alert, they can finish their homework early. But sleepy students take 3-5 hours to finish homework. When do you start your homework? At school or at home? Some PR students do their homework during study hall so it doesn’t cause them to miss sleep later. Freshman Amber Cohen says, “I do my homework before school and during study hall.”

Neisha Jean Louis, freshman at PR says, “I start homework at around 6”. Sleepiness gets in the way of your productivity. So it’s best to start your homework early. Sophomore Milana Becchetti says, “I’d recommend starting homework right after school and doing it during study hall. Starting homework early is helpful towards getting more sleep.”

Being extremely sleep deprived is equivalent to driving drunk. You’re not completely aware of what’s going on. Symptoms of sleep deprivation include being hungry all the time, weight gain, memory problems, trouble with decision making, skin doesn’t look so good, and driving difficulty. If you’ve been experiencing any of these symptoms, sleep more!

For the students at Prairie Ridge, Youtube and Netflix gets in the way of their sleep. Freshman Amber Cohen says, “I see the suggestions in YouTube and end up watching them all.” Many students at PR choose TV and Youtube over sleep, because it keeps you from feeling sleepy.

Here’s a tip to sleep early: screens off an hour before bed. Electronic screens send a signal to the brain which suppresses the production of melatonin and keeps you from feeling tired. Don’t drink caffeine after dinner. Make time for sleep, and plan accordingly so that homework doesn’t come in the way of that. Be smart, and don’t choose hours of TV over sleep.

Students at Prairie Ridge know helpful tips to getting the right amount of sleep. Senior Ryan Briske says, “Try not to think, and close your eyes, a fan helps.” PR students believe that noise can help you fall asleep. Freshman Collin Preves says, “A noise machine, on “summer night” mode, or you could listen to classical music. The music is calming and it lulls you to sleep.”

Given the research, when making a choice between sleep or another activity, choosing sleep is a good decision.

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