Asked by you: why are high school students sleep deprived?

High school students are sleep deprived due to factors such as early school start times, academic pressure, increased screen time and social demands.

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High school students are sleep deprived due to a range of factors that affect their sleep quantity and quality. Firstly, early school start times have been found to be a major contributor to sleep deprivation among high school students. According to Dr. Wendy Troxel, a behavioral and social scientist, “The majority of high schools in the US begin before 8:30 am, which is out of sync with the natural circadian rhythms of adolescents.” This misalignment with the body’s internal clock, coupled with the need for teenagers to get at least nine hours of sleep, means they often don’t get enough.

Another factor is academic pressure. High school students are under intense pressure to excel in their studies, which often results in late-night study sessions, completing homework and assignments, and cramming for tests. This inevitably reduces the amount of time available for sleep.

Increased screen time is also a major contributor to disrupted and insufficient sleep among high school students. Social media, video games, and other digital technologies have become a pervasive part of teenagers’ lives. Research has shown that the blue light from screens can impact sleep, and the stimulation from social media can keep them awake excessively.

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Finally, social demands also affect high school students’ sleep patterns. Socializing with friends, frequently staying up late, and sometimes participating in extracurricular activities can reduce the amount of time they have for sleep.

In summary, the combination of early school start times, academic pressure, increased screen time, and social demands means that high school students are often unable to get the amount of sleep they need to function at their best.

Interesting facts on sleep deprivation:

  • The CDC has called sleep deprivation among teenagers a significant public health concern.
  • In a study of 3,000 high school students, only 15% reported getting at least 8.5 hours of sleep on school nights.
  • Chronic sleep deprivation among teenagers has been associated with a range of negative outcomes, including obesity, depression, and poor academic performance.


Factors contributing to high school students’ sleep deprivation Details
Early school start times Misalignment with the body’s internal clock
Academic pressure Late-night study sessions and cramming for tests
Increased screen time Disruptive blue light and social media stimulation
Social demands Reduced time available for sufficient sleep

Video answer to “Why are high school students sleep deprived?”

In this talk, Wendy Troxel discusses the public health epidemic of sleepy teens and the importance of getting enough sleep. She argues that this epidemic has a direct effect on both the individual and the community, and that it would be a great gift for our children to be able to wake up naturally and in harmony with their own biology.

More interesting questions on the issue

Why are most high school students sleep deprived?

Response will be: Teenagers stay up late for three main reasons. First, biological shifts in the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, make teens stay up later. Second, social media can keep kids up and blue light from devices suppresses melatonin production. Third, having a lot of homework can keep kids up late.

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How common is sleep deprivation in high school students?

In reply to that: Teens need nine hours of sleep a night for their developing brains. But studies show that close to 70% of teens don’t get that.

Are 73 of high school students sleep deprived?

Response to this: Here’s Why. Research has found that 73 percent of high school students regularly do not get a healthy amount of sleep. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends pre-teens need 9 to 12 hours and teens should be getting 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night.

Why are so many students tired during school?

Teenagers are going through time of change, which is stressful and exhausting. Combine hormonal changes with the need for social acceptance and the pressures of school work, and you get a recipe for tiredness and trouble falling asleep. Students are always surrounded by technology.

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