Sleep Schedules and the Effects of Staying Up too Late

Madison Nesti, Staff

Sleep. The ability to shut down your body and refresh for the next day. For some students at Sierra Middle School, sleep is not very common. Most teenagers don’t want to go to sleep. They prefer to stay up all night and pull all nighters because they aren’t tired. In all reality, they are tired but their brain tells them that staying up late is okay.

Staying up for a long period of time can cause sleep deprivation. Another way of putting it is being sleep deprived. Kids joke about being sleep deprived whenever they are super tired or can’t fall asleep. They don’t realize what sleep deprivation actually is. According to, sleep deprivation is caused by consistent lack of sleep or reduced quality of sleep. After being awake for more than 48 hours, sleep deprivation starts to develop. One effect of being sleep deprived is it makes it hard to focus. Your brain can’t retain as much information and it’s hard to remember important information.

Being sleep deprived can also affect your weight and put you at risk for type 2 diabetes. When teens are bored, they tend to eat. Especially at night, kids drink caffeine, energy drinks, and eat lots of food to help stay up. Type 2 diabetes is difficult to get rid of and cannot be cured. Taking pills may not show a huge change either.

There are ways that help treat sleep deprivation, but there is not a cure. Doctors try to treat sleep deprivation by self care. They want you to exercise every day for 20-30 minutes, 5-6 hours before you go to bed. Exercising makes it more likely for you to fall asleep. If self treatment doesn’t work, your doctor may give you sleeping pills. However, sleeping pills wear off after a couple weeks and interupt your sleep.

Although no human being has died from sleep deprivation, they have come very close to it. In the 1980’s, a researcher from the University of Chicago, Allan Rechtschaffen, performed a sleep deprivation experiment on rats. According to, after 32 days of sleep deprivation, all the rats were dead. They performed the experiment on rats because they are very similar to humans in their health.