Sleep Deprivation In Teens And As Portrayed In The Things They Carried
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Sleep deprivation is a serious disorder that affects the health of many teenagers. It occurs when an individual does not get enough sleep. Most teens fall into this category by not sleeping the recommended 9 hours. Interview data shows that about 90% of teens report sleeping less than 9 hours a night and about 10% report sleeping less than 6 hours (Noland). Sleep deprivation can become a very serious condition. It can cause serious health problems. Its effects can be imagined, with detail, in a novel by Tim O’Brien, called The Things They Carried. Young soldiers in Vietnam fear the enemy day and night. Their nighttime does not bring peaceful sleep. They begin having physical and emotional problems.
What causes teens to sleep less? Is sleep under a teen’s control? To understand why some sleep disorders may be happening it is important to look at circadian rhythms (Mayo Clinic). All individuals have a 24 hour internal clock that affects their temperature, sleep cycles, appetite, and hormonal changes. Biological and psychological processes follow this clock. Young children have circadian rhythms that encourage 8 or 9 p.m. sleep times. Puberty changes a teen’s internal clock. An 11 p.m. or later time becomes the new sleep time. Homework, studying, stress, outside activities, social demands, part-time jobs, and over-use of computers and phones can mess up the internal clock even more. Some parents have even fought for a later school day for their teens (npr). Teens may not “listen” to their body “saying”, “I am tired!” Other factors such as smoking, illegal drugs, and caffeinated energy drinks may also affect a teen’s ability...
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