To sleep, or not to sleep?

To sleep, or not to sleep?

Yeahsoo, CC-BY-SA-3.0

LAUREN BENCHOFF, Staff Writer

With six hours of classes, sports, extracurricular activities and hours of homework, are high school students getting enough sleep these days?

Students between the ages of 13 and 18 require a total of nine and a half hours of sleep each night, but with activities, media and school work, teenagers are averaging seven hours a night.

“I never feel like I get enough sleep,” says senior Michelle Quinn. “It’s been awhile since I’ve woken up and felt completely refreshed.”

Naturally, teenagers go through a shift in sleep schedule that pushes back the urge to sleep till 11 pm.  Yet school starts at 7:30, which means most students are up around 6:00 am or even 5:00 am, and are not getting the necessary sleep their bodies need.

“At night I usually don’t care about what time I go to sleep because what’s an hour or two difference?” said sophomore Alexia Marnoto. “But when I wake up in the morning I would kill to sleep more, and it’s hard to stay awake after lunch.”

Because teenagers don’t get those two hours that they need in the morning, It can result in lack of effort at school and can heavily affect grades as well as energy levels and mood.

Sleep is essential to our health as teenagers, effecting our life in multiple ways. Lack of sleep can cause:

  • Irritability
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Mood swings
  • Lack of focus
  • lack of energy

These can affect the way we study, do homework and take tests, and consequently lower our grades and have a long term effect on our future.

We all know that it can be hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. Some tricks that might help you fall asleep easier are:

  • Workout before bed: By relieving stress from your body and mind, it will tire you out and also get you a good night sleep.
  • Take sleep medicine: For people with insomnia, sleep doesn’t come easy, so medication might be the way to go. You can go to the doctors and get proscribed or make natural vitamins that promote sleep like vitamin D or vitamin B.
  • Sleep spray: Never heard of sleep spray before before? Its a quick-drying sleep spray that you put on your pillow, and helps you fall asleep faster with calming scents and that allows you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep. You can find it at the Body Shop for $16 in stores and online.

So maybe next time you feel like staying up late on your phone or watching that 3 hour movie, you might want to get some extra Z’s instead.