Teens Are Too Busy to Sleep

By  | 

Bethany Jett is involved in church, a part-time job, and various activities around Dothan High School's campus and an occasional late night movie.

It’s a terrible dilemma especially for teens, when at the end of day a good nights sleep is hard to come by

"I don't get enough sleep. I fall asleep in class all the time," said Bethany.

A poll by the national sleep foundation shows Bethany is like the rest of American students; instead of getting the recommended nine hours, students have been sleeping an average of six hours.

At the end of the week, cumulatively speaking, sleep deprivation adds up.

That same poll also shows 20 percent of today's students drive to class drowsy, and when they finally arrive to class they're late, and 25 percent fall asleep at their desks.

"I would walk into the classroom quietly without disturbing the other students in the class, kind of walk up by the student, tap the student on the shoulder, and have them get up, come with me, and have to go wash their face," said Dothan High's Principal Dr. Jimmy McCarty

"I have a friend, and he falls asleep all the time in class, and teachers ask him if he needs to go see a doctor," said Bethany. “But yes, I see that a lot; people falling asleep in class"

The lack of sleep could cause problems in the long run affecting these students as adults.

So what can be done to fix the problem? More sleep helps of course, but telling a student to get more sleep is not always an easy answer.

According to medical doctors, kids’ bodies don't want to go to bed until later. It’s conditioned that way.

To help teens catch up with their Zs, it’s recommended parents enforce a bedtime.

There should also be no caffeine intake in the afternoon, and video games and television should be turned off well before bedtime.