Sleep On It

Insomnia and lack of sleep is something many students struggle with, and it can negatively affect their lives.

   The clock ticks later and later, and although my eyes feel heavy and I’m exhausted after a long day, I still can’t seem to fall asleep.

   This has been my reality for a long time, and according to the Cleveland Clinic, it’s the reality for up to 50% of the adult population who experience insomnia symptoms. 

   There are many different types of insomnia, but the Mayo Clinic defines it generally as a common sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep, or cause you to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep. 

   My sleep issues started in middle school, and are directly correlated with how stressed I feel. The busier I am, the less sleep I tend to get. 

   According to Healthline, sleep deprivation has many adverse effects, like memory issues, trouble thinking and concentrating and mood changes. 

   We as human beings have the inherent need for sleep. But, especially in teenagers, sleep doesn’t have as much of a priority. 

   Teens, in particular, can fall victim to issues with their internal clock, or circadian rhythm. According to WebMD, teens biologically produce melatonin, the chemical that helps one fall asleep, about two hours later than children and adults. 

   Other factors in the sleep schedule of teens include their schedule and school, caffeine intake, medications they are taking and how much they use devices or how much screen time they get. 

   Between all of these things, sleep either isn’t a priority for teens or is more difficult to get because of insomnia symptoms they suffer from.

   After identifying this problem, how should people go about fixing it?

   The answer isn’t simple, but WebMD has some advice.

   Try to create a restful atmosphere before going to bed, like listening to music or reading a book. Set a screen schedule to shut off devices at least thirty minutes before going to sleep. Avoid stimulants like coffee and other sources of caffeine after 4:00 p.m..

   Sleep may not feel like a priority in the midst of so many busy and stressful things, but it’s important to make time for a healthy sleep schedule to allow your brain to function to the best of its ability.