Teenage Sleep Deprivation

Essay by Alucard23College, UndergraduateA+, May 2005

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More and more teens are suffering from an easily cureable problem. Teenage sleep deprivation is a common issue many people face. The problem is that teenagers simply cannot wake-up early without enduring health problems. The reason is because of melatonin, a hormone that induces sleep and tells the body when to go to sleep. In teenagers, the melatonin does not appear until ten thirty to eleven thirty at night. Because of this later surge of melatonin, teenagers cannot fall asleep until later in the evening making it more difficult to get up for early classes. It may seem obvious that stress leads to sleep deprivation. The reasoning behind this, however, may not be as obvious for teenagers. Teenagers, it appears become more sensitive to the stimulating effects of corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRP) which is a stress releasing hormone. When both young and middle-aged men were administered CRH, the younger men remained awake longer and slept less deeply.

Sleep deprivation can cause many serious negative side effects to teenagers' already hurried lives. These side effects can range from such common problems as sleepiness during the day to more serious problems such as headaches, obesity, and eventually death. After a bad night of sleep I know I have spent countless classes struggling to keep my eyes open.

The many effects of sleep deprivation are generally placed into four categories: Sleepiness, tiredness, negative effects on mood, attention, and behavior. The first category, sleepiness, is often attributed with brief mental lapses in which a student in school appears to be awake, but actually is mentally asleep. Sleepiness can actually progress to the next step, where the student may physically fall asleep. This not only decreases a student's school performance, but can lead to motor vehicle accidents. It is estimated that more than 200,000...

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