Sleeping eight hours, eating habits; Staying healthy year round

Mekenzie McCann, H/S Editor

“Adequate sleep contributes to a student’s overall health and well-being […] the proper amount of sleep at night [helps to] stay focused, improve concentration, and improve academic performance,” according to the CDC.

     The amount of sleep that a person needs depends on their age. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, students from ages 13 to 18-years-old should get eight to ten hours of sleep per every 24 hours. 

     Sophomore, Evan Oswald comments that he gets “around eight to ten hours” of sleep a night. Mason Clark, junior comments that when he “gets more than eight hours of sleep he feels more tired, and not as well rested.”

     Reasons that adolescents might not get enough sleep include, “puberty hormones [that] shift the teenager’s body clock forward by about one or two hours, making them sleepier one to two hours later,” according to Better Health Channel. 

     “Smartphones and other devices used around [the time adolescents go to] bed […] reduce sleep time. Teens who put down their smartphones an hour before bed gain an extra 21 minutes sleep a night,” says Better Health Channel, and states that, “light cues the brain to stay awake. In the evening, lights from televisions, mobile phones and computers can prevent adequate production of melatonin, the brain chemical (neurotransmitter) responsible for sleep.”

    Teenagers that do not get the proper amount of sleep have “a higher risk for many health problems, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, poor mental health, and injuries” says the CDC.

     Better Health Channel comments that effects of teenage sleep deprivation include “shortened attention span, memory impairment, lack of enthusiasm, risk-taking behavior, reduced sporting performance,” and more. 

     It is important to get the right amount of sleep every night. One way you can do that is by maintaining your regular sleep schedule. You, “should go to bed and wake up at about the same time each day,” according to Nationwide Childrens. 

     Another way to make sure you get the right amount of sleep is to, “avoid oversleeping on weekends […] and take early afternoon naps,” says Nationwide Childrens.

      To get the right amount of sleep, “avoid screens such as computers, TV or smart phones, loud music, homework, or any other activity that gets your mind racing for at least an hour before bedtime,” says Better Health Channel. 

     Clark states that he “runs around his house” and wears his energy out, and Oswald comments that he “listens to YouTube videos with white noise” to help them fall asleep. 

     Eating better and healthier foods for your body helps you protect “against many chronic noncommunicable diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer,” says the World Health Organization. 

     Make sure to eat plenty of vegetables and fruit “they are important sources of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, plant protein and antioxidants,” according to the World Health organization. Oswald comments that when he eats healthy, he eats “salads and fruits.”

     According to the World Health Organization, “Eating too much [fats and oils], particularly the wrong kinds of fat, like saturated and industrially-produced trans-fat, can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. 

     “Sugars should represent less than 10% of your total energy intake[…]” and “keeping your salt intake to less than 5h per say helps prevent hypertension and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke in the adult population,” says the World Health Organization.