Batman only sleeps 2 hours a night, and he is still Batman. There is only one Batman. Unless you are part of the .000000000133% of the earth’s population who happens to be Batman, no matter what you believe, you are not him. Each of you has the potential to be something great, but unfortunately, only one of us can be Batman, and let me just point out that he and I have never been seen in the same room at the same time.

Sleep is a massively important part of growing up. Some adults hate the fact that we have to sleep, if you don’t believe me, check out Reddit where there are tons of forums with people complaining about the loss of precious waking hours to sleep. Other people love catching Zs. I’ve known people who love it so much that they take naps when they’re not even tired. Whatever your strategy is, adolescent or adult, you need to get your beauty-sleep somehow.

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According to the Center for Disease Control, 6 out of 10 students in 6-8th grade aren’t getting enough sleep, compared to about 7 out of 10 highschoolers. 
It seems like with the majority of students not getting “enough” sleep, the qualification of “enough” would be reduced, but I’m not a scientist, I just tell it as I hear it, and the CDC is a trustworthy source.

Teen years come with a lot of physical changes, but one of the developments that takes place is in your circadian rhythm. The word "circadian" comes from the combination of two latin words: "circa" meaning “circle" and "dies" meaning “day;" so the circadian rhythm is literally the cycle that your body goes through in the course of a day. In any given day, we build up what scientists call “sleep-debt” and your eyes slowly get heavier and heavier. When we go through puberty, our daily rhythm and sleep-debt profile scoot forward an hour or so, which makes us want to wake up a little later. The problem comes in that school starts at the same time every day, so instead of moving with your cycle, teens either live through the week as sleepy zombies or force their circadian rhythm to match school (spoiler alert: most students choose the zombie option!). 

We still need a lot of sleep. Kids 6 - 12 should sleep 9 - 12 hours per day and teens 13 - 18 should sleep 8 - 10. Yikes!

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There’s some good stuff mixed in with all the terrifying bad news though. Every night when you’re sleeping, your body recovers from the day. So, your body’s job is to make sure you’re healthy and when you’re catching Zs, it’s making sure your muscles and brain are ready for the next day. Every little bit counts! For those who are sleep deprived, scientists make sure to point out over and over again that if you get even just one additional hour of sleep each night, it can start your body on the right track to overall well-being. I’m not trynna tell you how to live your life, but sleeping the recommended amount has some unbelievably positive benefits. It preps your brain for better attention and focus, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation, and gets your body ready to store up a higher quality of life, and mental and physical health.

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To prove my point, If you don’t think sleep is important, you’re missing out. There are some really incredible people who claim sleep is what keeps them going. Lebron James, for one, says that during the season, he always tries to get 8 - 9 hours. His trainer says it’s an important part of James’s strategy for a never-ending recovery. Ellen DeGenerous gets 8.5 hours of sleep each night, Matthew McConaughey shoots for 8.5 hours, and there are tons of other people who try to get the healthiest amount possible. There are a few crazy outliers, but for the most part, healthy people get healthy sleep.

So what are you doing reading this blog at 11:30 p.m.? Get to bed and catch some shut-eye!

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