Importance of sleep

Azzah Abdoalrhman, Co-Editor in Chief

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Since teenagers are at a pivotal point in their lives regarding growth and development, studies show that they require about nine hours of sleep. However, on average, teenagers only sleep about seven hours a night.

Sleep deprivation can affect teens in the worst ways. It can cause teenagers to be very moody, irritable, and grouchy. They will also have a tough time managing their mood swings and will get upset very easily.

This mindset could lead to teenagers taking part in risky activities, such as drinking and speeding. It’s also important to understand that there is a high risk for sleep-deprived people to fall asleep at the wheel. Drowsy driving is most likely to occur between the hours of two to four in the morning and three to four in the afternoon.

Strong evidence shows that sleep deprivation can reduce academic achievement. Any student who has ever stayed up all night cramming for a test can confirm that claim. According to Nationwide Children’s hospital, teens who get less sleep are likely to get bad grades in school, fall asleep in classes, and be tardy to class.

Many people are still skeptical to how bad sleep deprivation really is. An analysis was published in the Journals of Clinical Psychology, showed that sleep deprivation could treat depression. Sixty-six studies that were conducted concluded that partial sleep deprivation could decrease symptoms of depression to as little as in one per day.

In addition, critics have attempted to debunk many cons about sleep deprivation by highlighting the positive effects. For example, some scientists have proven that people can have beneficial effects such as tireless stamina, enhanced creativity, and heightened awareness.

However, the studies were not randomized, which is one of the key factors in experimentation because it reduces the risk of bias. In result, there is only so much reliability and validity that can be accredited to the studies.

Regardless of the “positive effects” sleep deprivation could bring, the disadvantages outweigh the potential advantages. There are serious illnesses that can stem from habitual sleep deprivation, such as high blood pressure, paranoia, insomnia, hallucinations, and an increased risk of heart disease.

Sleep allows our bodies to rest, heal, and grow. It is not only essential for our physical health, but also for our mental health. Without sleep, people would not be able to function on a day-to-day basis or live a healthy life.