I can count the number of nights I get eight hours of sleep on my two hands. I cannot count the number of nights I’ve had less than four hours (or even stayed up all night) even when you include my toes! But this is not something I’m exactly proud of. Recently in Psychology, we discussed the sleep cycle and how your body uses time while you sleep to revitalize itself and restore itself to keep you healthy. It makes me wonder why International Baccaulaureate kids don’t start dropping like flies once we hit our senior year!
The recommended sleep dose for teenagers is anywhere between 8.5-9.25 hours. This is enough time for your body to recuperate and prepare itself for the day to come. Any amount under or above can be detrimental. Obviously under-sleeping leads to exhaustion and can also cause other health problems and weakens your immune system so you are more likely to get sick. Over sleeping causes chemical releases in your body to get messed up and also for certain chemicals to not work until you are awake. This can cause for things such as a slower metabolism.
So obviously, sleep isn’t just necessary to keep your energy up, it is also used by your body to take time and recuperate from the previous day. Allowing for your body to go through the complete sleep/REM cycle multiple times allows for your sleep to be best used by your body, but of course going through the cycle more than the necessary times can also hurt you. So when someone says get eight hours, they mean eight hours!