High school students and caffeine addiction
February 1, 2021
As High School Students, we are constantly moving; constantly doing homework, working, studying, and participating in extracurriculars. We hardly have time to relax, much less get a full nine hours of sleep. To keep up with our busy schedules and sleep deprivation, most of us turn to caffeine. Whether it’s a coffee on the way to school, a monster at lunch, or a soda after school, caffeine is a part of a majority of teens’ diets.
According to the National Sleep Foundation teens (14-17) need 8-10 hours of sleep and young adults (18-25) need 7-9 hours of sleep. Shockingly, a 2018 study by AAP NEWS revealed that only 27% of teens are meeting this criterion. This overwhelming loss of sleep and exhaustion is probably what leads most teens to make their first cup of coffee.
Caffeine addiction is the reliance on caffeine and is common among teens and young adults. Caffeine addictions can be subtle and you may not even realize if you have one. Will MacLeod, 12, says that he “didn’t even realize [he] needed caffeine until [he] started getting headaches when [he] didn’t drink soda or coffee.”
Furthermore, a reliance on caffeinated beverages may not seem all that awful but it can lead to many unwanted symptoms and effects. According to Verywell Health, regular caffeine drinkers often have symptoms or “withdrawal” after stopping consumption such as headaches, fatigue, trouble concentrating, difficulty completing tasks, irritability, depression, anxiety, flu-like symptoms, and even impairment in psychomotor and cognitive performances.
Not only does “withdrawal” from caffeinated substances lead to unwanted side effects but consuming caffeine in general leads to unwanted health effects: insomnia, restlessness, nervousness, flushed face, psychomotor agitation, Tachycardia or cardiac arrhythmia, and many more.
Now of course in a perfect world, none of us would need caffeine to stay awake during class and for late-night studying, but we obviously do not live in that world. It is unrealistic for teens to stop caffeine consumption, especially in high school and college, but being aware of this problem is important. By knowing the potential danger of caffeine we realize how important it can be to limit consumption. Expecting young adults to stop drinking caffeine altogether is unrealistic but limiting caffeine consumption may very well improve your health.