Never getting enough sleep
By Dacotah Erwin
Although it is recommended for teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 to sleep at least eight hours a night, students are receiving less than the recommended.
A study published online in the Journal of Sleep Research found a third of students in Canadian high schools do not meet sleep recommendations. As well, 60 per cent report feeling tired while attending school.
It is suggested by the Canadian 24-hour movement guidelines that teens get eight to 10 hours of sleep per night. But according to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital website, not all students can and most only sleep around seven hours per night.
Students are expected to balance school, sports, homework and work while maintaining a proper sleep schedule.
In a typical day Mackenzie Price, a student at Sandwich Secondary School, will attend classes, go to basketball practice, work out, go to work and try to balance homework on top of it.
“I get about four hours of sleep and I’m always tired in class,” said Price. “I can’t fall asleep at an early time so getting up in the morning is always hard.”
According to Huffington Post sleep deprivation can have detrimental effects on the body, leading to mental health issues such as depression, issues with learning and behavior, substance use and a higher risk of obesity.
The Keewatin-Patricia District School board has switched start times to as late as 9 a.m. Representatives from the board say the results show both attendance and grades are improving and students are ready and attentive when they get to class.
Students who struggle to get the suggested amount of sleep per night could explore the idea of creating a schedule.
“Some things students could do to balance all their activities is to first document how many hours they spend each day engaged in their various activities,” said Nancy Mcnevin, an associate kinesiology professor at the University of Windsor. “Adjust the hours spent engaged in each activity according to which ones will help them achieve their long term goals.”
There is no single solution, but studies have proven that high school students getting more sleep per night should be the ultimate goal.