Sleep well enough, or die

Did you know that you sleep for ⅓ of your life? At least that’s how much you’re supposed to. Doctors and sleep experts have recommended sleeping between 7 to 9 hours, though the amount varies in different age groups. It is especially important, however, for children to get the required amount of sleep— especially teenagers. I can back this up based on my own experience. Before reading Mathew Walker’s Why We Sleep, I underestimated the importance of sleep, and, therefore, always felt sluggish when waking up. I would stay up late at night either doing homework I should’ve done earlier or watching Vine videos that changed the world, sometimes I did both. After reading his book, I learned the benefits of having a good night’s sleep, and the consequences of having a bad one.

The benefits of sleeping 7 to 9 hours a night are huge and plentiful. To name a few, having the required amount improves your memory and learning. By allowing your brain to rest, it’s being given enough time to absorb all the information you learned throughout the day. Having enough sleep will also improve your mood for the following day. You will feel refreshed and not only have a more positive attitude but also become more active and engaging with other people. Another benefit is that sleeping enough will improve your overall health. From strengthening your immune system to lowering depression, the benefits of having enough sleep are too good to ignore.

If not already aware of by now, the detriments of not having enough sleep are fatal. British researchers discovered sleeping less than five hours doubled the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, which is the biggest cause of death in America according to the CDC. Not sleeping enough will make it more difficult to control your impulses, potentially leading to unhealthy behaviors and weight gain. As for those who love to get intimate with others, your sex drive will also drastically decrease. That’s just a few of many health problems that arise when not getting enough sleep. To make it simple and easy to remember: sleep deprivation can kill you, both mentally and physically. 

After learning many of these facts that have been proven through various experiments and results, I now realize how important sleep is. So much so that I began sleeping earlier and longer than before, ultimately improving my well-being. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for my peers. I had unknowingly surveyed multiple students in my school. Many of them told me they woke up still feeling tired or not having enough sleep. Aside from the issue of formal education not providing us more insight on sleeping, it is important to note how problematic this is for students not only during school but also for their lives. Having enough sleep can be the difference between life and death.