Saying yes to sleep

Photo from flickr creative commons,

Sleep is a necessity. Just as important as the water we drink, the food we eat, and the air we breathe. Sometimes I think everyone forgets that. Especially when we have seven classes a day followed by after-school activities and homework at night. It seems as though there’s not enough time in the day to get everything done, and sleep is the first thing to get cut. I think we all forget sometimes that we don’t have superpowers, and sometimes we can’t get everything done. We just have to remember to take care of ourselves, which includes getting enough sleep.

The Sleep Foundation reported that over half the seniors surveyed went to bed after midnight on an average school night. The foundation’s studies have shown that the students who have difficulty waking up in the morning, with or without an alarm, are the ones who are not meeting their body’s needed amount of sleep during the night. Falling asleep at school, daytime naps, and “sleeping-in” on the weekends are other signs of insufficient sleep.

Research shows that a teenager’s body clock is set to a different schedule than younger kids or adults. The Sleep Foundation reports that 45 percent of teenagers get an insufficient amount of sleep on school nights. A sufficient amount of sleep would ideally be about 10 hours, with a minimum of eight. Biological sleep patterns shift during adolescence towards later times for both sleeping and waking up; meaning it is natural to not be able to fall asleep before 11 p.m.

Another factor that plays into trouble sleeping are the irregular sleeping patterns most adolescents have. Going to bed at a decent time and getting up early during the weekdays and then staying up late and sleeping in on the weekends make it hard for the body to adjust to a sleep cycle.

Some parents or adults would ask students if we are using our time wisely. Are we really using our time to do school work and extra activities? Or are we wasting our sleeping time away with watching Netflix and playing video games? I would respond to that by saying I use my time efficiently, and even though the last thing I want to do when I get home from school is do more homework, that’s exactly what I do. Because I know I definitely won’t want to do it after my two-hour softball practice at night. After a long day of school, homework and activities, all I want to do when I finally arrive home is crash in my bed.

With school starting earlier than normal this year at Kennedy, I think all the students should learn how to manage their time efficiently- and especially making time for sufficient sleep.