By Ross Lelieur
Senior Staff Writer
Junior Perah Ralin usually gets five to six hours of sleep per night, a far cry from the recommended 8.5 hour minimum. However, Ralin is not the exception but the norm when it comes to sleep at SPHS. Tiger Newspaper sampled 73 students to learn about their sleep habits and asked them questions regarding how much they sleep a night.
SPHS’s sleep deprivation transcends national trends in adolescent sleep. According to the New York Times, teenagers need about 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep each night. Nationwide, less than 20% of the teenagers actually get that amount of sleep during the week. The sample taken indicates that the issue is even worse at SPHS, with only 4% of the students sampled getting the recommended healthy amount of sleep. Because lack of sleep can impair cognitive functions, this would seem to indicate that an overwhelming portion of SPHS students are not performing at their best on a daily basis. Data was also collected regarding how much sleep students need to feel healthy.
Sixty-three percent of students answered that they needed above eight hours of sleep, indicating that while a majority of students know what is healthiest, very few have the opportunity to attain that goal.
“Falling asleep in class does not help your learning. Having constant headaches doesn’t help your learning,” Ralin said regarding the effects of her stunted sleep schedule.
Tiger found that 53% of students reported over seven hours of sleep during weekdays, which — while not optimal — is also not immediately problematic. The 46% of students that get six hours or fewer on the other hand, is worrying. In this range of 2.5 to 3.5 hours below
optimal, health effects become prevalent. Impaired judgement, especially while driving, is a major concern, as is difficulty paying attention in class or while doing homework. And for the 7% of students who reported getting three to four hours of sleep on average, the concern is amplified even more.
Sleep deprivation has become a major issue amongst adolescents, and SPHS exceeds expectations by having an even larger population of sleep deprived students than the national average.
(See Brandon Yung’s editorial coverage)