Sleep: How Much Is Enough?


Sleep has become something of a rarity these days for high school students due to the coming of the digital age and the fast-paced lifestyle that it entails. Consequently, it is not uncommon to find students who are sleep-deprived, which is traditionally defined as getting less than seven or eight hours of sleep per night. But is it actually possible to achieve this optimal cutline?

The National Sleep Foundation claims that the ideal number of hours differs from person-to-person. Some people, for example, may be able to get through a day without feeling tired by sleeping just four hours a day, but others may need more than eight.

But what we do know for a fact is that getting more than nine hours may lead to health problems such as increased risks of heart attack, death and depression. Not getting enough sleep, however, can increase the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. The National Institute of Health even went as far as to claim that driving after lack of sleep is akin to driving drunk.

Because there is no consensus on sleep, it is best to figure out your “right” amount by trying a small experiment at home. Perhaps you might try going to bed and getting up at different hours to figure out when you are most tired. You may find that you only need six hours of sleep per day, or perhaps eight, but it is crucial to realize that whatever works for one individual cannot be generalized to everyone’s needs.

Whatever works for you depends on your personal physical and mental characteristics. But notes that a sure sign that you are getting an enough sleep is feeling alert and refreshed in the morning.

(Photo courtesy Flickr Creative Commons)

One thought on “Sleep: How Much Is Enough?”

  1. Great article. Just going to say that, sleep depravity only gets worse in college 😉 I love the links you include, and the photo, though not taken by the staff, is properly cited, fits the article, and, very importantly, stretches the length of the page banner without getting pixelated (try to get hi-res photos for all articles). The only issue, and I use the term lightly in this article, would be the weak connection. It’s obvious that your talking about high school students not getting enough sleep because you’re a high school paper, but you went nine-tenths the way there. Get a few quotes (2-3) from students about what they think about the amount of sleep they get, how much sleep they get, why they get that much sleep, etc. Do that, and this article is pretty much perfect. No AP errors. Awesome job.

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