As I begin my junior year in high school, I am already experiencing the mounting stress and anxiety of this critical year and sleep is definitely something I don’t get enough of. Although I already knew how important sleep is, I was surprised to discover how extremely crucial it is for teenagers specifically. We often sacrifice our sleep for more pressing things, such as homework, extracurriculars, and social life. However, we fail to consider the repercussions. As a teenager myself, Henry Nicholls’ Sept 20 NYT article, “Let Teenagers Sleep In”, definitely spoke to me and I felt myself nodding along in agreement to Nicholls’s statements. Although surprising, his claims definitely made sense. For instance, his scientific evidence proves why I have a habit of sleeping in so late. I am glad to finally have credible evidence stressing the importance of sleep and explaining my sleep habits.
Due to the education system, increases in technology, and biological changes, teenagers suffer from sleep deprivation, preventing them from receiving the necessary 8 hours of sleep. As teenagers’ brains are still developing, lack of sleep negatively affects their mental and physical health, potentially leading to serious issues such as mental illness, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and more. Studies have proven that schools start much too early and this causes students to lack focus and attention in class. Technology is also an issue because of the difficulty for teenagers to resist the lure of their electronic devices. Blue light emitted from such devices suppress melatonin levels, the body’s critical sleep hormone. Teenagers’ biological makeup also comes into play because as bodies experience puberty, they develop a natural, uncontrollable tendency to stay awake later and sleep in later. These factors contribute to the sleep deprivation that teenagers suffer from, leaving drastic damages on their overall health and well-being.
Nicholls begins his article with an enticing lede, posing a question to get readers immediately interested. After this descriptive hook, he dives right into his argument, presenting solid statistics to begin on a strong note. He takes a clear stance from the start, fully supporting the fact that teenagers need more sleep. Nicholls successfully uses pathos, causing feelings of sympathy to arise among readers, especially in parents. He also presents cold, hard facts as evidence to support his argument, demonstrating the use of logos. As a high school science teacher, Nicholls is able to use not only his academic knowledge, but also is personal experience that he draws from his teenage students.