Lack of Sleep for Students: Is It The Schools Or Ourselves??

Usually when a teacher asks the class if you’ve had a great night’s sleep, they would most likely be expecting “yes”. But nowadays, the only response teachers get are “meh” or just a plain, simple, “no.”

As a teenager who currently goes to school, I have gotten less sleep than I have ever gotten since I have started high school. Usually I would go to sleep around  9:00-9:30 pm and wake up at 7:20 am, which would be about 8 hours of sleep. Nowadays I would sleep around 12:30-12:50 pm, and wake up at 3:00-3:10 am. That’s roughly about 3 hours of sleep.

I believe that this is a very important topic to discuss because there are many scholars that are lacking sleep because of electronics and/or sleep issues in general. Most people say the reason that teenagers get so little sleep is because of how we get distracted by our electronics, but we say that it’s the schools.

This image shows the recommended amount of sleep each age group should have.

According to The Atlantic, it is said that “teenagers need a least nine and a half hours of sleep each night.” But on a poll from the National Sleep Foundation, it is said that less than 50% of American students get at least nine hours of sleep each night, and that 58% of teenagers from the ages of 15-17 usually get less than 7 hours of sleep on a daily basis.

This graph shows the amount of sleep each different age group gets on a regular basis from the year 2014

This image shows how much do people use their electronics in their bedroom and how much do people leave their electronics on at night.

Now, I know that nowadays teenagers get so distracted by electronics that they lose track of time and sleep, which results in the teen coming into school late and tired. In all honesty I am on my electronics at night, but I usually leave on my electronics more frequently than I am using it. But back to my main topic. It is really the students’ fault, or the schools’ fault? In my defense, it’s the school’s fault. Sure, I’ll admit I am on my phone late at night sometimes, but even so I still managed to get enough sleep for school.

This image represents the different proportions of children and adults who experienced difficulty getting a good night's sleep due to various factors at least once in previous weeks in 2014

Now why is that? Most people would say it’s the amount of time I spend on my electronics, I say that it’s the school’s fault.  I say this because of the early start times and the amount of homework we get daily. To me, it’s not really the start time of school, but its the homework. But of course, it’s the early start times as well. It’s is said that the teenager’s mind is fully active around 10am. But back to my main issue, homework. The average time to spend working on homework is a 3 hours. According to U.S. news, it is says after surveying 1,000 teachers, it has been confirmed that most students are spending 17.5 hours on homework each week. The teachers think that the time spent doing homework is worth it, but I believe the students beg to differ. As said from teenink, homework can cause students’ mental and physical health to worsen. We as the students are putting our health at risk trying to finish our homework on time. “Teens who have more homework than they can handle may become disillusioned with school and may lose the motivation to work hard,” says Gerald LeTendre, the head of Penn State’s Education Policy Studies department.

Let’s work hard but not too much, this is a serious issue for both parents and teenagers who are suffering from lack of sleep, like me.

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Comments (3)

Amal Giknis (Teacher)
Amal Giknis

I really like Michaela's suggestion for your original research. This would be a cool way to gather data about SLA students specifically.

Also, I wonder what you might do for your Agent of Change? Is there a way for you to get people to sleep more? Maybe a week-long challenge, or something on social media where people post/share their tips for self-care and better sleep habits? Something to brainstorm …

Michaela Berger (Student 2021)
Michaela Berger

I told this to Phoenix but here is an original research idea… Put a survey in the adv. memo: 1. What time do you go to bed on weeknights 2. What time do you wake up on weekdays? 3. What about the weekend? Bedtime: 4. What time do you wake up on the weekends? 5. Do you feel rested on school days? 6. Do you feel rested on weekends?