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The dangers of sleep deprivation

Sleep deprivation affects teen’s physical and mental health in terrible ways.

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The dangers of sleep deprivation

Abigail  Knauff, a student commonly lacking sleep, tries to get in a quick nap instead of eating lunch.

Abigail Knauff, a student commonly lacking sleep, tries to get in a quick nap instead of eating lunch.

Delfina Caceres

Abigail Knauff, a student commonly lacking sleep, tries to get in a quick nap instead of eating lunch.

Delfina Caceres

Delfina Caceres

Abigail Knauff, a student commonly lacking sleep, tries to get in a quick nap instead of eating lunch.

Delfina Caceres, Staff Reporter

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Students at PHUHS are among a generation of teens growing up chronically sleep-deprived. More than 87% of teens get less than the recommended eight hours of sleep; threatening their health, safety, and academic success.

All student athletes are required to take the King-Devick test in order to assess whether a player has suffered from a concussion. The student is tested when they have not had a head injury and that result is compared to the results of a new test taken after the player has suffered the head injury.

If a student is sleep-deprived while taking the original test the results may be wrong, leading to false negatives and positives when assessing if a player has had a concussion. In other words, a student athlete may be told they have a concussion when they don’t, or they may be told they have a concussion when they really do. Student athlete, Alyssa Bossner(21) commented on this fact.

“I had no idea those tests could be fake. That’s really messed up,” Bossier said.

It is also very well-known that lack of sleep increases the risk of a teen to develop an anxiety disorder or depression. Teens who are sleep-deprived, on average, are 10 times more likely to be diagnosed with clinical depression and are 17 times more likely to be diagnosed with clinical anxiety. (sleepfoundation.org)

Obviously, if a student skips out on sleeping to finish their homework or work, they will be tired the next day during class. Students can have trouble concentrating and will have to relearn everything they were taught in class that day, probably having to skip out on more sleep just to catch up. Sydney Truby, an IB student, spoke about her experience with this.

“If I go to sleep late there’s no way I can learn in class the next day. I should probably go home that day and relearn everything, but usually I’m so tired I just give up,” Truby said.

In worst case scenarios, a student may even fall asleep in class or skip eating lunch to grab a quick nap. Abigail Knauff(21) explained her common experience with this.

“Sometimes I can make it through class but most of the time I’ll try to sleep during lunch but it’s so loud I can’t really fall asleep,” Knauff said.

The clear issues with sleep deprivation in teens needs to be fixed. The Pinellas County School system made a small step forward with the issue when they moved the starting times for high school from 7:00 a.m. to 7:20 a.m. Although there are many complications involved with pushing the start time of high school later, the issues are worth it if teen’s health is at stake.

How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

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The dangers of sleep deprivation