When the word ‘epidemic’ comes to the average person’s mind, people tend to think of diseases or events like influenza or the AIDS epidemic. However, the newest epidemic is not necessarily a disease- but lack of sleep, especially among stressed teenagers.
According to Stanford Medicine, over 87% of students receive much less than the recommended hours of sleep a night (8-10 hours). The generation of teenagers in high school now grow seemingly more like zombies as the lack of sleep accumulates to completely unreasonable amounts. This sleep deprivation is becoming hazardous to health, education, athletics, and overall safety.
Unfortunately, along with sleep deprivation comes many negative symptoms. Most students notice an inability to focus causing drops in academic work, anxiety, depression, and in the worst scenarios they may experience suicidal thoughts.
A number of factors go into causing such sleep deprivation and its symptoms. This can include sports, stress (both inside and outside of school), academic pressure, and even simple life habits such as eating late at night or looking at a screen before trying to sleep. Eating late at night, looking at electronic devices, and messed up sleep schedules can cause teenagers to stay up later than they’d like to and should.
Research done by the Huffington Post shows that little sleep in teenagers can actually increase obesity rates. Diabetes can also be developed as a similar result, mostly due to a lack of blood sugar control and overall behavior. Such a lack of control in behavior can lead to impulses among teens, which can cause many central problems in the teen’s mood and life.
Like many other students across the world, Nashoba students are feeling the results of a loss of sleep.
Both Nashoba students and faculty members interviewed mostly agreed that they have been consistently sleep deprived. Sophomore, Brittney Yuen says the reason she thinks that Nashoba students are sleep deprived is “the excessive amount of homework and stress students have to deal with. Teachers give too much homework and don’t take other classes, sports, and clubs into consideration, and they do this every single day of the week. As a result, students get little to no sleep.”
Similarly, Nashoba senior, Cameron Trundy believes that “Nashoba needs to do a better job of regulating the amount of work a student can handle in one night. They also need to focus on the stress they put on teachers for grades, because teachers have lives too.”