Research Round 1 - Cycle 4 - Why Do We Have Trouble Sleeping?

Hello everyone,

It feels like it's been a long time since I last posted, but I will be posting every 2 weeks now with posts that are a little bit longer. For my first research round, I will be examining What is sleeping?, Why do we need sleep? and How many hours of sleep do we need for various ages? Before I get right into my round of research I must do a myth.

Myth #1

Your brain rests during sleep.

False: The body rests during sleep, not the brain. The brain remains active, gets recharged, and still controls many body functions including breathing during sleep.



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To humans, we think sleep is when our bodies and mind are asleep, but science has proved that when were asleep our bodies are still functioning. Our bodies have to function during sleep or else we wouldn't be alive. Basically sleep is a natural state where our physical bodies are resting, but our minds are still working. (1,2)

Fun Fact: Most people end up spending 1 third of their lives asleep which is amazing considering humans tend to live in between 60 - 80 years. Can you imagine sleeping for 20 years of your life? (1)


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Scientists aren't certain why we sleep, but there are theories like our brains need periods of rest. When I say rest I don't mean like sleep, but during the day our minds make connections through new experiences we face daily. At night, our brain decides which connections are important and remembers them while the brain discards the other ones. Overall sleep is a time where our brains can throw away waste and refresh for the next day. Another reason why humans need sleep is because we need energy to power through our day. Humans need a balance of sleep, a good diet and exercise to stay healthy and each item is as important than another. When we don't get a good sleep our bodies and mind are exhausted which result in us being tired and not be able to function like normal. Sleep can affect our school work and test marks for students which is key to having a good career. In my opinion, sleep is one of the things humans need because it has to ability to effect us in a negative way. (3,4)


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How Many Hours Of Sleep Do We Need Based On Our Age?

As you can see above in the chart, as the age progresses the hours of sleep decreases. Which makes sense because the younger you are the more your brain is still developing and when you're asleep your brain does most of the developing. Of course, it is better to get more sleep because you will be better rested, but let's face it, most people probably don't get the amount of sleep recommended. I personally get 7 hours a night which is pretty close to my recommended hours, but I would like to know how many hours of sleep you guys get to see if teens are getting their 8 - 10 hours of sleep. (Chart Data and my own opinion)


For my next post, I'm going to look into medical issues that revolve around sleep (Insomnia, Sleep Apnea, Narcolepsy) and hopefully find some ways to help deal with the issues!




2. http://www.sleepassociation.or...ublic/what-is-sleep/






Thanks for reading my post and comments are always welcome.

Original Post

Hey Lauren!

This is super interesting research and it's super relevant to highschoolers! One thing I've heard about and found really cool is sleep cycles. It is believed that in order to wake up and not feel tired, one must complete a full sleep cycle. Sleep cycles take approximately 90 minutes, so instead of taking a 1-hour nap, you should take a 1.5 hour nap; or instead of sleeping for 8 hours, you should sleep for 9 to complete your sleep cycle. Here's a link with more information:

Hopefully it helps! I'm looking forward to reading more.

Hey Lauren!

As I've grown up, the importance of sleep and drinking water could not have been stressed enough! I'm curious to know how lacking sleeping can affect things such as your metabolism, mental health and other organs in your body! If so, how do these effects differ between boys and girls? Also, are naps beneficial? Do they add hours to your sleep cycle?

Love your idea and this research round, Keep itup

This is a super interesting topic! Most teens don't get the recommended number of hours of sleep a night. I personally get around 7 hours a sleep a night, which is pretty good compared to some of my friends. Some of my friends get 5-6 hours of sleep a night, which is very low. I think this is because of school. We're usually up super late working on homework and studying. You could maybe make s survey about how many hours of sleep people get and why. This might help with your project! I'm looking forward to what you find next, good luck!!

Hey Lauren,

You are right in that not enough people get the amount of sleep that they need. It would be interesting to see a survey that asks that so that you can compare the percentage of people who get the recommended amount of sleep with those who get more or less. Just an idea.

Ben Laird.

Hi Lauren

This is a really fascinating topic and I was surprised that your brain continues to function while we sleep.  I noticed that you talked about how many hours people SHOULD get of sleep depending on their age. But is this true? I suggest you do a survey and find out how many hours people really have a sleep, maybe how it impacts their lifestyle, and then compare it with the statistics and perhaps give suggestions to how we can improve this habit. 

Good luck!

Hi Lauren,

This is a really interesting topic because sleep is something that affects all of us. It affects us when we have too little and it affects us when we get the right amount. I found it interesting when you mentioned that our brain discards the facts that we don't think are important. Perhaps, you can elaborate on this topic. For example, how does your brain decide which information is important? Does it have to do with your level of consciousness when you receive the information?

Good luck on your future research!

Hey Lauren,

Great job! When you mentioned the recommended amount of sleep, I thought of people I know as they always complain about getting less than 6 hours...I think doing a survey would be really interesting; finding out how many hours people sleep on average then asking how they feel their functionality is. You could then make a relation to amount of sleep = level of mental awareness. Good luck!

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