www.whyville.net Apr 13, 2008 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

Can't Get Enough Of It!

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You've all heard it before, "make sure you get enough sleep." Yeah, yeah, we know. But do we all really understand what sleep deprivation is and how it affects our daily lives as teenagers and preteens? It can affect all of us in more ways than we think.

How exactly does sleep deprivation affect us? Well, for starters, it affects our grades. Without enough sleep people may tend to have a short attention span. If the teacher is going over something important that you need to know, you will miss it because you literally cannot pay attention.

Crosby57 says, "Sometimes it is hard to pay attention in class. Even if I thought I had gotten enough sleep, I really didn't." You also could doze off in class for not having adequate sleep.

Some of these causes of sleep deprivation include: hormonal shifts, a hectic after school schedule, the lure of entertainment, constantly thinking or stressing about important things or obstacles, sleep disorders, or even drinking caffeine before bed. Stressing over certain things such as school and grades can also cause us to be sleep deprived. We as teenagers have to cope with these certain things. We have to go to school and we have to study and do our homework to be able to get good enough grades in school, not mention that we have to do some sort of extracurricular activity, so it's hard not to stress.

In preventing sleep deprivation, you may want to develop a longer relaxing routine before you go to bed, such as taking a shower or bath and drinking some hot chocolate. Another less time consuming way to prevent not having enough sleep is keeping your room dark at night, not drinking caffeinated beverages before you go to sleep, exercising for a few minutes to clear your mind, make a routine such as making sure you are in bed at a certain time, and get nine to ten hours of sleep a night. We already have enough stress with school and extracurricular activities, do we really need to stress over if we get enough sleep?

If you think you may suffer from sleep deprivation, go to this website: http://www.sleepnet.com/depriv.htm. Once you get to that site, look at the first paragraph and click on the link for the sleep test. The answers the test gives you may be surprising. If you do not have enough time to take that test, there is another way you can check to see if you get adequate sleep. First find a spot that is secluded where you can be alone. After you do that, sit in a reclining position and close your eyes for about 15 minutes. If you are still awake after about 10 to 15 minutes, you are NOT sleep deprived because you body has already gotten enough sleep. If you fall asleep within a few minutes, you may have sleep deprivation. You can repeat this test as many times as you would like to get adequate results if you do not think your first one is correct.



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