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The Student News Site of Bridgewater-Raritan High School

The Prowler

The Student News Site of Bridgewater-Raritan High School

The Prowler

BRHS students launch initiative to solve lack of teen sleep

The Prioritize Teen Sleep advocacy group meets with town officials to discuss their initiative. (Courtesy of Prioritize Teen Sleep)
The Prioritize Teen Sleep advocacy group meets with town officials to discuss their initiative. (Courtesy of Prioritize Teen Sleep)

Helping teens get enough sleep is the simple goal of Prioritize Teen Sleep, an advocacy group that aims to spread awareness regarding the importance of sleep and how it is overlooked.

This initiative is driven by a team of five members, including current Bridgewater-Raritan High School seniors Vithika Pant, Dhara Patel and Meera Joshi and juniors Sanvi Shrivastava and Simran Agarwala. 

The group recognized that lack of sleep affects over 80% of teenagers. A bit of lost sleep may not seem significant as a problem, but the research is evident; the effects of sleep deprivation are disastrous, especially on the developing minds of teens, says the team. In the short term, not getting enough sleep will severely impact one’s ability to focus or recall information, as well as make them prone to mood swings and anxiety. 

Chronic sleep deprivation can increase the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, and permanently impair the development of teens. Worst of all, sleep deprivation translates to injury and death on the road, where it is estimated that there are around 100,000 crashes related to drowsy driving annually. In fact, sleep deprivation often affects driving in the same way that alcohol does.

To combat the issue, Prioritize Teen Sleep is implementing a three-pronged solution. The first step is creating awareness. The second is providing resources. And the third is to bring about tangible change.

By partnering with organizations such as the Board of Education, neighboring schools and specialists in neurology, they intend to bring awareness to this issue to the general public and produce meaningful results. For example, a change to curriculums themselves could teach the importance of sleep to all BR high schoolers.

The team met with authorities several times in the past months to bring attention to the matter. Two meetings were with the Bridgewater and Raritan Town Councils, respectively, in August and September. Their second meeting was with our local Board of Education. At all conferences, officials reacted positively, and Council President Michael Kirsh even told them, “Thank you for bringing this to our attention.” 

The team website can be found at prioritizeteensleep.com, which includes a pledge to combat teen sleep deprivation.

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About the Contributor
Ayushmaan Mukherjee, Staff Writer
Ayushmaan Mukherjee is a sophomore at BRHS, who joined The Prowler at the start of the 2022-2023 school year. He mainly enjoys writing news briefs, although he has written for other sections. He was a part of the Paw Print at BRMS, where he was an editor for the news section.  He is learning how to play the piano and violin and plays tennis. In his spare time, he loves to both read and write stories. In the future, he hopes to improve his writing skills and become an editor for The Prowler, which he truly enjoys being a part of.
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