Sleep Habits Among Teens Essay

1444 words - 6 pages

People often tend to believe that teenagers do not sleep simply because they do not want to. Is this really the case, or is there something preventing them from being able to sleep? For the past three years, I have had trouble sleeping. Regardless of what time I go to bed, it is literally impossible for me to fall asleep before midnight, and often much later. Once I finally do fall asleep, I cannot stay asleep for more than an hour at a time. This has taken a tremendous toll on me. It makes it hard for me to get to school on time and stay awake during class, causing my grades to drop. The field of sleeping disorders is a broad one, encompassing many types of problems. One group that is often not given enough attention, because of the stereotypes associated with them, is teenagers.
Many people suffer from sleeping disorders, such as insomnia, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy as well as other disorders that can cause sleep deprivation. However, sleeping disorders often are either misdiagnosed or unnoticed. Some people believe they have a sleeping disorder when, in reality, they simply just have bad sleeping habits. Drinking caffeine before bed or not being active during the day can affect the amount of sleep a person gets. There are also very many people who do not realize they might have a sleeping disorder. Millions of Americans alone are diagnosed each year, but a large number of Americans who have a sleeping disorder are never diagnosed. Symptoms of sleeping disorders include, but are not limited to, loss of energy, waking up tired, and frequent yawning or napping throughout the day.
Sleep hygiene is the group of behaviors linked to a good night’s sleep. A person with bad sleep hygiene can tend to mistake this for a sleeping disorder, such as insomnia. Bad sleep hygiene includes eating or drinking a lot of caffeine during the day, taking naps, and spending a lot of time indoors. Studies have shown that the amount of sunlight a person gets can affect how that person sleeps at night. A person who is outside a lot on a sunny day will usually sleep pretty well, whereas a person who does not get a large intake of sunlight often has trouble falling asleep. The reason for this is that sunlight, particularly morning sunlight, is essential to a person because it is needed to stimulate the body’s twenty-four-hour biological system. The twenty-four-hour biological system is what regulates the sleep/wake cycle, therefore, affecting how a person sleeps. Psychologists believe this could be a reason teenagers do not get enough sleep, They are calling this the Teen Night Owl Syndrome. Surprisingly, it is believed that school could be the biggest problem.
It seems as if school would play a role in helping teens sleep better because they are getting up early in the morning to go to school, and then working in a classroom all day so they are likely to be tired in the evening. However, this could be what causes them to lose sleep. Teenagers...

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