Eight Hours of Sleep? In your Dreams!
November 20, 2015
Filed under Opinion
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The first day of Freshman Orientation I stayed after school until around five for the first time ever. I felt my eyes growing heavy as is I skulked in the gym bleachers. That was the first day I felt that foggy feeling in the back of my head crawl to the rest of my body and put me to sleep in the middle of my carpool’s basketball practice. According to a Sleep Foundation article on sleep deprivation in high school students, only 8% of all high school students got the necessary eight and a half hours of sleep that they need. In the world today, teens though ages of 14 and 18 live hectic lifestyles. Among the constant pressures of school, minimum wage jobs, extracurricular activities and meeting social needs, when do we get a chance to sleep? For many teens, sleep falls last within the list of ever-growing tasks that need to be accomplished.
When is the last time that you can remember getting an undisturbed eight hours of sleep per night for an entire week? The truthful answer for most of us is back in the easy elementary school days. Studies from the Sleep Foundation show that teens tend to have irregular sleep patterns across the week; typically staying up late and sleeping in late on the weekends, affecting their biological clocks and damaging the quality of the sleep. The hard truth is that many teenagers realize this but many of us do not have much wiggle room to try to adjust it. We are constantly bombarded with other worries (which also factors in to poor sleep!) Many may say that the sleep patterns of a teenager are cemented into a vicious cycle.
Teens typically undergo a change in their sleep patterns as they enter high school. Their internal clocks switch from going to bed early and waking up early to going to bed later and waking up later. Some schools are even taking steps to accommodate this way of sleep. A various amount of schools from just about every state have decided to start later and end school later. The average start time of these schools is around 9:45 and school ends around 3:45. This allows students to let their bodies naturally fall asleep and wake up even during the school week.
Be sure to remember… even if Mercy High School still starts at the bitter hour of 8 am, you need your sleep! On those exhausting hopeless nights that seem like they could go on forever, put on some music, curl up under your covers and give yourself a few minutes to relax. Sleep is important, and do not let yourself get too overwhelmed because the truth is everything is probably going to be okay.