Startling statistic about high school students and teens


By Jeremy Hedian, Staff Writer

Only five percent of teens are getting enough sleep and exercise while spending too much time looking at TVs or their phones.

Researchers  recently analyzed data from in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey. Nearly 60,000 teens completed the survey between the years of 2011 and 2017. 

These statistics are startling since a small amount of teens are following recommended health standards, and are going beyond the limit for “screen time”.

Experts from the National Sleep Foundation and the CDC say that teens during their adolescent years need around eight to 10 hours of sleep per night and at least one hour of rigorous physical exertion each day. However, teens are relinquishing their needed sleep and exercise for going on their phones or watching TV.

Teens who are constantly on their phones even before bedtime are said to have trouble sleeping thinking about their unfinished homework or from their inability to fall asleep. Teens being unable to fall asleep are possibly affected by the lights emitting from smart phones blocking the production of sleep hormone, melatonin.

Also, the constant urge of teens to be on their smartphones or play video games is causing the rapid consumption of their time, the time that could be spent with more productivity or exercise. The consumption of time through smartphones and electronics prevents the teens from finishing their homework the night before and going to bed earlier. Even doing extracurricular activities and procrastination can make for a bad sleep schedule.

“I procrastinate throughout the day and decide to study at night,” said Joseph Palethu, a junior at Wayne Hills High School. Procrastination can be a major factor for an average teen’s lack of sleep.

“Having sports practice makes me get home much later than usual and the rigorous course load causes me to stay up really late. Also, going on my phone and computer during the night makes it harder to fall asleep,” said Robert Stepien, another junior at Wayne Hills.

Lacking the time for sleep and healthy habits is just a normal struggle that the majority of teens face each day. Not to mention the anxiety of school work and maintaining good grades to prepare themselves for early adult life.