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Sleep Deprivation

It's nearing that time of year where students are exhausted from a lot of things. Believe it or not, the average teen is supposed to get OVER 8 hours of sleep! No matter what your reasoning is for not sleeping, it’s important to have ways to avoid sleep deprivation.


Reason 1: Other tasks

There might be other things you have to do throughout the week that might stop you from sleeping. Normally this is a result of homework. Two reasons for not doing homework are procrastination and poor time management.


Procrastination is the act of delaying a task or activity. Procrastinating comes from a number of different reasons, the most common being because you just don’t want to do it. To combat this, there are different strategies. You could try to find the reason why you don’t want to do the task, and reason with yourself. Do you not like the homework you have to do? Then try to do the homework for a different class. Would you rather do something unproductive? Take a break by doing something fun, but set a timer for when you should start working again. If possible, you could ask a parent or guardian to sit in a room with you to encourage you to stay on task. If you really can’t bring yourself to do anything, step away from everything for some time. Taking a nap is the best way to do this. Even if taking a nap doesn’t work for you, there’s plenty of other methods that help you take a mental break.

Time management

Are you having trouble finding time to do things? You might want to look at your schedule. A common cause of poor time management is doing too many things without planning enough time for the other things you might need to do. OnCampus (if your teachers use it this way) is a great resource for checking your homework for the whole week. You can look at these weekly updates and any other activities you have to do, and plan it out. Make sure to leave spaces for interruptions in your plan. If you know you have a club Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, and a project that’s also due Friday, you could spend time on Thursday working on most of your project. Or if you know you have to do things at home that would cause you to have less time for homework, you can take advantage of study halls and free periods throughout the week.

Conquering these tasks will allow you to get to bed earlier, or even allow you to sleep at all. It’s important to know your limits and to plan accordingly.


Reason 2: Distractions

Distractions are a main cause of sleep deprivation. There are many different types of distractions, but the common causes for them are that distractions make you happier than whatever task you’re trying to accomplish would. If the distraction is from another person, you might have to tell that person that you are trying to be productive. Most likely that person will be understanding. If the distraction is something that’s in your control, you could try removing yourself/the distraction from your area. Creating more obstacles to get to the distraction than to just be productive is a good method.


Reason 3: Anxiousness

Another reason for lack of sleep is worrying about things. This is more difficult than the previously mentioned problems because this is an inner problem. Some of the best ways to get rid of anxiousness (or to push aside anxiety) is to try to pinpoint the problem and find other ways of thinking to make the task easier. If you have a presentation the next day and you’re afraid of presenting, try to change the way you think about your audience. Keep in mind that they’re people that have the same problems you have. They’re most likely just as worried about their presentations as you are, and might even be focusing on their own presentations rather than judging yours. You could also try to write down the problems you have, or even talk about them with another person to try to work through them. Once you’re calm enough, sleeping will be easier.

There are many different things that can lead to sleep deprivation, and these reasons are not all of them. But it is important to recognize when there is a problem and to try to find ways to solve them. If being healthy is all about different forms of exercise, then sleeping is the easiest workout there is!


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