Most Students Need More Sleep
Many factors contribute to why students are sleep-deprived. Biology and technology, including social media, all create the perfect storm to spoil sleep for students. When sleep-deprived, your focus and attention suffer, making it difficult to process and retain information. Without the retention of information, you will not have the ability to access that knowledge in the future. Sleep deprivation is a noticeably big issue amongst today’s students, and many are just too tired to benefit from a quality education.
An article published by The Child Mind Institute explains that in addition to hormonal changes that transform a child into a teen, students also experience shifts in melatonin production. Teenagers are biologically in a different time zone from the rest of the population. Teenagers have tendencies to be more awake past midnight which is a major contributing factor to sleep deprivation. Many teenagers will try to make up their sleep on the weekends, sleeping 12+ hours. This irregularity impacts their sleep cycle and circadian rhythms, throwing them off entirely during the school year. With many teenagers living with chronic sleep deprivation, adults tend to overlook the extreme effects it can have on their kids’ physical, mental, and behavioral health.
Social Media is prevalent no matter your age. One of the worst things anyone can do when trying to go to sleep is to check their phone before bed. Students are constantly utilizing technology, whether they submit that last-minute assignment, meet with a group on Zoom, or chat with their friends online. According to the National Sleep Foundation, all light can interfere with our circadian rhythms, but the blue light emitted from electronic screens significantly impacts sleep. Blue light stimulates the part of the brain that makes you feel alert, leaving you feeling energized at bedtime when you should be feeling calm and relaxed.
A 2018 study published in the National Library of Medicine, found that nearly 70% of the participants indulged in Social Media use after getting into bed for the night. Almost 15% of them spent an hour or more at night online. This study polled 855 hospital employees and university students via an online questionnaire. Results revealed higher levels of “in-bed” Social Media use in the younger and middle-aged than in elderly participants. They found that participants with high “in-bed” Social Media use were more likely to have insomnia, anxiety, and short sleep duration on weeknights. Students who are up late chatting with their friends online or checking their Social Media pages create a stimulating environment. This environment keeps them from falling asleep when they want to, thereby hurting their cognition and ability to pay attention in school the next day.
Not getting enough sleep can affect how well a student does in school. Understood.org explains in one of their articles how not getting enough sleep can temporarily weaken the part of the brain that manages organization, planning, and problem-solving. Tired students will have a more challenging time getting their homework done or ensuring they have everything they need for the school day. A lack of sleep also causes students to have less control over their emotions, causing them to get frustrated or lose their temper more easily. These mood swings can cause students to get in trouble at school or give up on school assignments because they don’t have the stamina to complete them.
To find out how to get your student on a solid sleep schedule, Click Here.
Maintaining a healthy sleep schedule during the school year can be challenging for many students, especially when stressed with a project deadline or big exam. They need to remember that sleep will help them do well in school and keep them feeling less stressed and more motivated to succeed in their classes. If you or your child are following the tips to help stay on a school sleep schedule and you are still having trouble sleeping, talk to your healthcare provider. They will help to rule out any sleep disorders and underlying conditions, like Sleep Apnea.
Make sleep a priority, and have an amazing school year!
Check-in with the QDME Journal for new blogs and fascinating topics.