Look around–as you walk onto campus, you see crowds of sleepless beings dragging themselves along the cement pathways. Moans and groans surround your ears as you spot dark circles underneath their eyes upon gaunt, pale faces. Then, you turn to see your reflection–and you look exactly the same. As horrifying as this sounds, this image manifests itself in a place called school, where hard-working students rarely get enough sleep every night. This isn’t surprising, for even as children, we’ve always fought tooth and nail against bedtime because we constantly needed to remain active. This is accurately expressed in neuroscientist Russell Foster’s (“Why Do We Sleep?”, ted.com) statement that because of this daily process of being busy, we’ve treated sleep as “our enemy”–like an “illness that needs to be cured.” Teenagers need about 9 hours of sleep in order to get the full restoration that they need daily in order to function at their best–but nowadays, students are only getting up to “5-7 hours of sleep, which just isn’t enough.” (ted.com) Despite their list of day-to-day priorities, students are easily distracted and inefficient–making a deprivation of sleep common among teenagers. The connection between the sleep deprivation of adolescents and emotional and intellectual instability is unmistakable. Without sleep, the repercussions are staggering–our creativity, memory, and social skills are nearly gone. We become prone to making terrible decisions, which even makes a lack of sleep dangerous. Without enough of it, we’ll never reach our full potential as human beings. For us, sleep is of the utmost importance–for our brains, and for our well-beings overall. It must be taken seriously. For more information, watch the T.Com video “Why Do We Sleep?,” for not just your health, but for your future. Don’t be like the walking dead. Sleep well. Be healthy, and be productive.
By Melissa Ancheta