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The correlation between sleep and major health issues

By Andrew Jordan ’18


According to the Center for Disease Control, the correct amount of sleep may be the most important aspect of a high school student’s life, but there are numerous reasons why many students do not get enough sleep.

According to a study conducted by the CDC, almost 70% of teenagers were categorized as “getting insufficient sleep.”

Those in this category included respondents who reported 8 hours of sleep or less on an average school night.

The CDC determined that those who fall into this category are more likely to engage in what they call “risky behavior.”

Poor sleep schedules and sleep deprivation is a health issue in of itself, as it commonly leads to other major health issues.

In the analysis of the data collected in the study, the CDC found and created a list of 10 dangerous behaviors that were commonly found among the respondents.

Some of the behaviors are more prevalent than others, especially for students on this campus.

The first behavior that is listed is “drinking soft drinks one or more times a day.”

According to a separate study that was also conducted by the CDC, just over 24% of high school students drink a serving or more of soda every day.

Along with sleep issues, regular soda consumption can lead to serious diseases such as type-II diabetes and obesity.

The development of those diseases can be a result of the second behavior; lack of physical exercise. More specifically, “Not participating in 60 minutes of physical activity five or more days a week.”

The study found that high school students who do not exercise regularly struggle to fall asleep and are less likely to sleep for the recommended eight hours.

Lack of physical activity continues to be a major health issue in the United States.

The third and most significant behavior for high school students and teenagers in general is computer and TV usage.

The National Center for Health Statistics stated that “only 27% of kids ages 12-15 meet the recommended limit of two hours or less of TV plus computer use daily.”

This is the leading cause of poor sleep habits, and since Brophy bases its education in technology, it is especially problematic.

However, possibly the most dangerous behaviors that are cited in the survey involve substance abuse and sexual activity.

The survey states that those who do not get enough sleep are more likely to be involved in the use of marijuana, alcohol, and other substances.

The conclusion to come from this data is that sleep is far more important that many people perceive. Although it is very difficult to prove causation, there is  a strong correlation between sleep and dangerous behavior.

Sleep deprivation, although a major problem itself, is more problematic because it leads to some of the most severe teen issues that we face today.

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