Is Sleep Deprivation Becoming a Huge Problem in Teens?


Is sleep deprivation becoming a huge problem in teens? Combined with the fact that teens spend more time than necessary (over 4 hours!) on their electronics according to a poll taken by KMS students, and the fact most KMS students get only 6 hours or less time for sleep, it leads us to wonder- what are the effects of homework and  electronics on our sleep time, and what does sleep do to our mind?

Many doctors say that teens need AT LEAST 9 to 10 hours of sleep. Unfortunately, no one seems to be getting the needed amount- why? According to statistics, every student gets around 3 ½ hours of homework per night, and that does not include projects or AP classes, as the average AP teacher assigns their own amount of homework (around an hour). Also, students in advanced programs tend to receive more homework than those in non-advanced programs. Additionally. the average student studies 17 hours a week. In a poll taken by KMS students, most of the people use around 4 hours on their electronic devices, whether it be for gaming, social media, or communication.

There 168 hours in a week, and the average American does around 17.5 hours of homework a week. 17 hours of studying happens, as does 49 hours of time spent in school, at least 21 hours for family time and  extracurriculars as in sports, tutoring, after school programs, and instrument lessons, instrument practice, and the usage of electronics has taken a giant leap- in fact, we use around 21 hours of non-educational time for electronics in a week. If that all adds up (to 125.5), and is subtracted from the numbers of hour in a week, you get 42.5 hours. Divided by seven, it comes to about only six hours per day left for sleeping.

Now, sleep is extremely important for the growing mind, and we aren’t getting the recommended amount. How does that affect us?

The consequences of not getting enough sleep are so severe, the CIA has used it as a method of torture. Now, this sleep deprivation can cause these symptoms:

  • Limit your ability to learn, listen, concentrate and solve problems. You may even forget important information like names, numbers, your homework or a date with a special person in your life;
  • Make you more prone to pimples. Lack of sleep can contribute to acne and other skin problems;
  • Lead to aggressive or inappropriate behavior such as yelling at your friends or being rude to loved ones (crankiness)
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Mentally ‘drifting off’ in class
  • Shortened attention span
  • Memory impairment
  • Poor decision making
  • Lack of enthusiasm
  • Moodiness and aggression
  • Depression
  • Risk-taking behaviour
  • Slower physical reflexes
  • Clumsiness, which may result in physical injuries
  • Reduced sporting performance
  • Reduced academic performance
  • Increased number of ‘sick days’ from school because of tiredness
  • Truancy

As you can see, sleep is becoming a huge problem for teens. KMS student Brianna B. said, “Yes, I can totally relate to this! Maybe if we didn’t have so much homework…”