Sleep, sleep, sleep. Some can sleep for hours. Some can sleep for days. Some cannot sleep at all. Did you know that the average amount of sleep that teenagers get is between 7 and 7.25 hours, however we need between 9 and 9.5 hours of sleep?

Sleep plays a vital role in good health and a stable mental wellbeing throughout a person’s life. The occasional four-hour rest as opposed to a nine-hour rest will make you feel tired and moody the next day, but it won’t severely affect your health. However, if it becomes a regular occurrence it will affect your overall health and make you prone to serious conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

 In the present day, there are many reasons why teenagers don’t get enough sleep. One example is social and school obligations. Many adolescents undertake a variety of extra-curricular activities such as Football which can eat up into the time that they are meant to be sleeping. Furthermore, as students, we receive school homework which can be time consuming to complete. This, as well as socializing online, which most 21st century teens do, can lead to late bedtimes.

Moreover, some people won't even be aware that they are sleep deprived and would still think that they can function well. For example, drowsy drivers may feel capable of driving. Yet, studies show that sleep deprivation affects your driving ability detrimentally as much as, if not more than, being intoxicated. It is estimated that driver drowsiness is a factor in about 100,000 car accidents each year, resulting in approximately 1,500 deaths. Likewise, sleep deprived teens may think that they can still function effectively in school though studies show that teenagers who get less sleep are more likely to obtain unsatisfactory grades in school, fall asleep in lessons and have school tardiness.

When asking my peers about how much sleep they get on average and the most amount of sleep they’ve had, one of the responses was “4 hours”. Another person said, in response to the most amount of sleep that they’ve received, “the longest amount of time that I’ve slept at once is 18 hours”. While 18 hours is more than enough sleep, only having a mere 4 hours of sleep is what leads to teenagers being moody and having behaviour issues.

To conclude, ensure that you get enough sleep as it is essential for a healthy mental, emotional and physical state.

By Eve Okubadejo – Dartford Grammar School For Girls