Sleep is probably one of the biggest problems teenagers face today. I mean, when can you honestly say that you had a comfortable amount of sleep, with all the academics, sports, and extracurricular activities? Sadly many of us just can’t juggle all of this and have enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can lead to a limit on our ability to learn, becomming forgetful, and even numerous health problems such as cardiovascular disease (according to sleep foundation.org). We go into bed late at night hoping to squeeze as much sleep as possible. Once morning comes we have that dreaded feeling of reluctantly getting out of bed.
A survey was taken that said a third of American adults hit the snooze button on their alarm at least three times before waking up. A snooze button delays the ring for nine minutes, so that would make it 27 extra minutes of sleep in a day, or up to 189 minutes (over 3 hours) of extra sleep per week. All that time would make us feel less tired right? Well actually a snooze button has the opposite effect on us and can be harmful. In the hour before our bodies naturally wake us up, it prepares us for the day. Hormones like dopamine, and cortisol are released, and the problem is that alarms wake us up early and interrupts the cycle. This ultimately gives us that groggy tired feeling we know. Once you fall asleep after hitting that snooze button, your body goes back to step one in the sleep cycle which won’t be helpful and that sleep will NOT be effective for your body.
Ok so far all I have been talking about is the negative aspects of sleep incorporated in our lives. So are there any solutions? Can we be saved from this seemly hopeless situation? Well first off, you can start by not pressing the snooze button. It would be better to instead to set your alarm to a later time which would let our bodies prepare for the day a bit better. Additionally, a sleep schedule would be helpful even on the weekends so your body can adapt to the schedule. Another solution lies in the magic of napping. The trick is all in timing, a nap too short will be insignificant, but sleeping too long will bring you to deep sleep in the sleep cycle. A nap consisting of 20 minutes, improve alertness and a calmer mood. A study done at Harvard says that 45 minutes can help with learning and memorizing. Now as for tips for trying to fall asleep, well it comes down to your surroundings. Don’t play music as you sleep, you may not be consciously awake to hear the music, but your brain sure can and it serves as a distraction. Additionally, any tv or lights that are on should be turned off. People with lights in front of them while asleep had shown slight indications of anhedomia, a depression like symptom. Yes I know, your night light is used to scare the boogie man away, but your brain will thank you later for this. Ok, that is all I have to say about sleep, so remember to sleep tight and give some of the techniques a try. Below I have a link to ASAP Science’s video, it talks more about sleep and I recommend watching it if you haven’t already.