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Sleep Deprivation

September 16, 2009
Traer Star-Clipper

By Ryan Thorne

"I wish I were asleep." "I really want to sleep in." "Why can't school start at like eleven or noon?" These are questions countless students ask themselves every day. Sleep is something the majority of teenagers absolutely love. However, most of that same majority complains about not getting enough of it.

The source for this lack of sleep is something a lot of students have in common. Homework, sports, jobs, and friends are only a few of the things that keep kids from enjoying sleep as much as they would like.

Corey Jones, a senior at North Tama, says that he does not get enough sleep. "I don't get as much sleep as I want because of my job and because of homework." Like many teenagers, "I love sleep, but don't get enough," says Corey.

Besides the obvious effect of sleep deprivation that is being extremely tired, it also leads to other distracting feelings. Anyone who hasn't gotten enough sleep tends to become cranky. When someone is cranky and easily agitated, difficult homework gets hard to concentrate on. They also don't want to work with others, and others don't want to work with them because of their attitude. One's mood has a huge effect on their willingness to work so being very tired ultimately results in poor quality work. Being tired makes students feel less inclined to work hard. They feel tired and sluggish, so bringing themselves to study is increasingly difficult. Attention in the classroom can also be an issue and teachers notice the lack of sleep in their students. "I notice it especially during my first hour class, they tend to act like zombies. It's not that students are bored, it's just that they are exhausted. I know they aren't getting as much out of class as they could." relates Ms. Brist, North Tama High School science teacher.

One would expect that something as simple as sleep would be easy to get, especially if you love it. But students continuously find it difficult to get enough sleep because of school and work. Balancing one's time amongst important things like homework, a job, friends, and family is difficult to do, and often keeps kids from getting their needed sleep.



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