Over eighty percent of American youth have experienced or continues to experience episodes of sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation is a condition in which individuals fail to register the required amount of sleeping time. There is an increasing prevalence of sleep deprivation among teenagers, particularly the school going and college students (Richter, 2015). This essay discusses the causes, consequences, and possible solutions to sleep deprivation among teenagers.
Causes of sleep deprivation
Sleep deprivation among the youth stems from a variety of factors such as increased school demands. The need to keep up with academic achievement has seen many teenagers stay awake for prolonged hours completing assignments that may disrupt the individual’s sleeping rhythm, and this may escalate to sleep deprivation disorder (Richter, 2015). Similarly, poor sleeping habits such as carrying and using phones or laptops in bed, binge-watching, eating, or watching immediately before going to bed may lead to insomnia, and consequently sleep deprivation (Richter, 2015). Also, stress stemming from various lifestyle factors such as peer pressure may result in insomnia.
Consequences of sleep deprivation
Prolonged cases of sleep deprivation may lead to different health complications like cardiovascular morbidity (Chattu et al., 2019). Additionally, insufficient sleep may increase the risk of other lifestyle conditions such as obesity. Other consequences of sleep deprivation among teenagers include compromised cognitive development, and the teenagers may experience increased incidences of forgetfulness and a general decrease in their creative and critical analytic competencies (Chattu et al., 2019).
Solutions to sleep deprivation
A solution to sleep deprivation among teenagers may require behavioral changes. However, in severe cases, medical attention may be necessary. Behavioral changes to overcome sleep deprivation include following a strict sleep schedule (Dewald‐Kaufmann et al., 2014). This may condition the body to get used to sleeping at predetermined times. Also, engaging in relaxing exercises like yoga, deep breathing, and mediation relaxes the body and mind and makes it possible for teenagers to overcome sleep deprivation (Dewald‐Kaufmann et al., 2014).
Sleep deprivation among teenagers is a crisis that requires immediate attention. The condition results from a number of behavioral patterns or physiological factors, and it affects the productivity and development of teenagers. Mild sleep deprivation may be solved through positive behavioral changes while severe insomnia may call for medical intervention.
Chattu, V. K., Manzar, M. D., Kumary, S., Burman, D., Spence, D. W., & Pandi-Perumal, S. R. (2019, March). The global problem of insufficient sleep and its serious public health implications. In Healthcare (Vol. 7, No. 1, p. 1). Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute.
Dewald‐Kaufmann, J. F., Oort, F. J., & Meijer, A. M. (2014). The effects of sleep extension and sleep hygiene advice on sleep and depressive symptoms in adolescents: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 55(3), 273-283.
Richter, R. (2015). Among teens, sleep deprivation an epidemic. News Center.