Is Caffeine Taking Over?

By: Tyler Kehret

The life of a high school student can be busy, to say the least. Depending upon the student it can consist of school, homework, sports, other extracurricular activities, and even work. Time management is an essential skill required for the ultimate success of students. With all these activities taking place, where do we find the time or more importantly the energy to fully participate?

In the morning as students are walking around the school take a look around. What do you see? A good percentage of students have coffee in their hands. As we all know, coffee has caffeine in it. Caffeine is a drug that stimulates the central nervous system in our bodies. It helps to make people less drowsy and to be more alert. Most people are ignorant to the true effects that caffeine can have on our bodies. It can be very addicting.

“Caffeine is not addicting. I can control my cravings. Well actually yes, if I don’t have it at least once a week I won’t be satisfied until I have it, coffee that is” Said Sarah Cunningham a sophomore at Willamette University. “If you drink too much of it, you can get shaky and some people even get headaches. Also, when you consume great amounts of caffeine at once it can be hard to concentrate” Said Cunningham.

There was a study done in 2009 at Drexel University by Dr. Christina Calamaro.* She asked 100 middle school and high school students from the ages 12- 18 to complete a questionnaire their nighttime intake of caffeinated drinks, use of media related technology, and their sleep patterns. The report showed that out of the students who were surveyed only 20% of them got the recommended eight hours of sleep needed each night. And 30% of the students admitted to falling asleep during school. The caffeine consumption tended to be 76% higher among those who fell asleep. So we know that caffeine can and will deprive teenagers of their sleep.
Other negative effects of caffeine include increasing incidents of stomach and bladder cancer, raised blood pleasure, and increased heart rates.

“I do not enjoy caffeine; however, I do like how caffeine helps me to stay up and get more work done” Said Brittany Hemry, a senior at here at McNary High School. “I don’t believe that caffeine prevents people from getting the recommend 8 hours of sleep but rather life prevents people from being able to sleep for the recommended hours” “ Teens do consume large amounts of caffeine, but caffeine is better than drugs” Hemry said.
One of the biggest effects that caffeine has on students is sleep deprivation. Studies have shown that students who lack sleep academically perform worse than students who do get enough sleep, both in test scores and in their grade point averages. So contrary to the common belief, drinking caffeine to help you get through your busy day is not helping you but rather harming you. It robs you of your sleep, your education, and your health.

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