Who needs sleep? We do.

Lizzy Lamm

According to the National Sleep Foundation (yes, it’s a thing), a teenager between the ages of eleven and seventeen need 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep a night, although this number can vary from person to person. This sleep helps them to be better focused, have more energy and do well in school.

Some benefits to getting those nine hours of sleep include increased ability to pay attention and remember new information, improved athletic performance and coordination, lowered stress and improved moods. Getting enough sleep also helps to maintain a healthy weight.

So with all this instruction about how sleep is good for you (and who doesn’t love a good night’s sleep?) why are some students still dozing off in class, especially when their parents, teachers and doctors tell them that sleep is important?

Based on a Wolfpack survey, the average Cedar Park student gets about seven hours of sleep a night and most students said that they go to sleep about 11:30 p.m. to midnight. Students said that if they do fall asleep in class, it’s most likely from boredom.

So how much time do students actually spend on their homework? Students said that on average, they spend very little time on homework, and some said that they don’t do homework at home at all. The average was about one hour, which is drastic compared to the average time spent on their phone or on the internet a day, which averaged out to about four hours.

Students said that on average, a high school student should get about 8 hours of sleep.

It is important that students get those hours of sleep, because short sleep duration can cause an increased risk of drowsy driving, a greater chance of obesity due to an increased appetite caused by sleep deprivation, an increased risk of diabetes and heart problems, a higher risk for depression and substance abuse and a decreased ability to pay attention, react to signals or remember new information.

So make sure that, although homework is important, you get enough sleep so you don’t find yourself dozing off in class.