People should spend about one-third or more of their day sleeping, albeit teens are sleeping less, down to one-fourth of their day, according to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. There are many reasons why they might not be able to sleep as soundly and as much as they should. Some of these reasons include stress, hyperactivity and overstimulation or digital screen time, to name a few.
Sleep is a mandatory part of one’s day as it deals with one’s wakefulness and awareness throughout the day; it can also affect productivity and cause larger issues, like with growth, immune system and metabolic rates.
Anatomy teacher Michael Preston sees the need for sleep for the body and the effects that a lack of sleep can have on it. He himself tries to get as much sleep as possible, even though it is not always possible.
“Bad sleep is where the mind never shuts down. The body never quits racing. You never enter REM sleep [rapid eye movement sleep], so you never get any deep sleep,” Preston said. “Instead of feeling revitalized more, you still feel fatigued because you’re not replenishing the energy that you are using during the day.”
The Mayo Clinic recommends six different ways to ensure a good night’s sleep. It recommends setting aside a specific time of about eight hours of actual sleep, with time spent getting ready for sleep or trying to sleep not included.
West Fargo High School alum Alina Lund is one of the leading nurses at the Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. Lund knows that sleep is absolutely necessary and pushes for healthy amount of sleep every night.
“Teenagers tend to sleep very irregularly. Busy schedules, social lives, rapidly changing bodies and the stereotype of having to stay up all night to study can all add additional obstacles for sleep,” Lund said. “Make your room a sleep heaven.”
Lund also mentioned how many try to “catch up” on missed sleep. She says that can be alright to do on weekends, but not sleeping in or napping more than one or two hours, as it might ruin one’s sleep schedule.
Health teacher Leah Swedberg said that she thinks 99 percent of all staff and students at WFHS do not get enough sleep as they should, or could, get on a regular basis. She said she herself is guilty of it occasionally, but always tries to get as much sleep as possible, going to bed at 8 p.m. some nights.
“I know that teens need a lot more sleep than they’re getting, probably adults too. I think we can all relate to not having enough sleep and how crappy we feel when that happens.” Swedberg said. “It’s because we’re involved in so many things, but then we also have everything at our fingertips. We have instant gratification and it is constantly available.”
Arviety Setty is a doctor at the Sanford Children’s Broadway Clinic who practices pediatric sleep medicine and specializes in sleep studies and actigraphy.
“One of the effects, in teens critically, is that it affects their memory, and the second thing is if you do not sleep very well then obviously you are going to sleep during the daytime because the brain has to rest at some point in time,” Setty said. “You body needs rest, and without rest your body cannot perform.”