Sleep: A Well-Rested Student
Is A More Productive Student.
The National Sleep Foundation states that teenagers need between 8.5 and 9.5 hours of a sleep nightly. However, for most of today’s high school students, that much time in bed seems like an impossible luxury.
“I never get more than 5 hours of a sleep a night,” says Brie Biegler, Xavier College Preparatory Senior. “Sometimes,” she adds, “if I have a paper due or something, I pull an all-nighter.”
The pressures on modern teens are immense: excel in AP and honors classes, participate in multiple extra-curricular activities and work a part time job. Sleep sometimes falls by the waist side.
“I have to finish my homework and study before I go to bed, which means getting less sleep if I have a lot to work on,” states Christine Schadeur, Mountain Pointe High School Junior.
While sleep therapists and parents advise students that sufficient sleep is paramount, any student feels otherwise. “I can’t skip studying for English in order to get 8 hours of sleep,” points out Xavier Junior Kelly Brennan, “sleep isn’t as important as getting into college.”
Sleep has become a lost art form, even for those not concentrating on school work or participating in an extra-curricular activity. “I don’t sleep, for any reason I know of,” says Xavier Junior Riley Wolf, “I don’t play a sport or work that hard for school. I just don’t feel like sleeping.” Desert Vista Senior Ali Sponberg agrees, “I’m not really all that busy this year. I could get more sleep if I tried. I just end up doing something else.”
This could be contributed to the fact that teenagers’ circadian rhythms (biological activities that occur in a 24 hour cycle) are unique from adults and children. According to kidshealth.org, it is natural for teenagers to want to fall asleep late at night and wake up later in the morning.
The reality is that few high school students are getting the right amount of sleep. Be it completing schoolwork, being a hostess at Charleston’s, watching a new episode of Grey’s Anatomy or a spending a few hours on MySpace, there always seems to be something more interesting sleep.
But this does not mean that sleep should be overtly neglected. Kidshealth.org has a few suggestions in this area: set a regular bedtime, exercise regularly (at least five hours before bedtime), avoid stimulants (that includes caffeine and cigarettes) and unwind in an environment where the lights are low.
Most importantly a well rested student is a productive student. Getting the proper amount of sleep is one thing that will, without a doubt, make you feel and look great.
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