Project Title: Insufficient Sleep among Adolescents: An Epidemic
BASIS Advisor: Mrunali Das
As a high school student at BASIS Independent Brooklyn, I have had long nights of studying and completing assignments. Between obtaining good grades, a social life, leisure time, and helping around the house, sleep can seem like something for the weekends—sometimes. Many of my peers experience the same dilemma: should I go to sleep or finish this assignment? With changes to circadian rhythms, autonomy, and homeostatic sleep regulating system, individuals progressively go to sleep later as they mature through their adolescent years. Considering the discrepancy between sleep “need” and sleep “required” for most adolescents, understanding the impact of insufficient sleep on adolescents is immensely important. Associated with auspicious behavioral and physical consequences such as depressive moods, lack of motivation and fatigue, the health and well-being of a sleep-deprived individual are negatively impacted. Taking courses such as AP Psychology and Capstone: Advanced Topics in Biology-Neuroscience, I have developed an understanding of how crucial sleep is for sculpting the adolescent brain and cognitive control. These negative consequences lead to a decline in school performance and overall well-being. In analyzing the factors that promote the mental, behavioral, and physical ramifications of insufficient sleep among adolescents, I hope to shine a light on its importance and how school schedules are disrupting the circadian rhythms of teens.