Article #19: Sleep Deprivation
Did You Know?
Approximately how many Americans are affected by sleep related problems?
a. Between 5-10 Million
b. Between 10-20 Million
c. Between 50-70 Million
d. Over 100 Million
The National institute of Health reports that 50-70 million Americans deal with some sort of sleep problem.
Hereís the rub (and what may be causing you to rub your eyes during class). When you were a little kid, your bodyís internal clock was programmed to wind you down and make you tired and ready for bed by 8:00pm-9:00pm. And now that youíre approaching, or well into your teen years, itís shifted. You donít feel tired until 11:00pm, or even later. But your school day, starts early every weekday, just like it did when you were a little kid.
Teens need a lot of sleep. Nine hours a night is ideal. And whenís the last time you got that? Beyond stumbling through the halls, like packs of zombies, or worse yet, driving around town in a waking dream, here are some things you might employ to help train your own internal clock into allowing you the sleep you need.
1. Budget Your Time:
Learn not to over-commit. No one can do everything and be everywhere theyíd like. Your time is your most precious resourceómake choices that support a refreshed and energetic body.
2. Mood Lighting:
As it gets later, bring the lights down. Study with just your desk light on, not the overhead light. Our bodies respond to pretty simple cues.
3. Schedule it In:
Sounds simple, but just sticking to a routine and a set time for turning in can work wonders. Try not to get thrown off on weekends.
4. "Cat" naps:
Short naps from 10-30 minutes can leave you feeling refreshed. Just be sure not to go all Van Winkle during the day and sleep too much. Youíll end up feeling more tired, and itíll throw off your nighttime schedule.
5. Caffeine Cutoff:
Try not to drink anything with caffeine in it (sodas, tea, energy drinks). If you canít live without, just keep it away from the afternoon and evening hours.
6. Wind Down:
You live pretty hard, but in the hours just before bedtime, try keeping it to a low roar. You donít want to be raising your heart rate with ear-splitting music, intense gaming, or a workout session. A mellow body drifts off to sleep, not an amped one. And turn off your cell phone!
If you still have issues getting rest, there may be something your family doctor can recommend. The important thing is that you get the Zís when you want them, and donít have to fight them off in class.
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