Imagine as little Jimmy wakes up to the blaring ring of his alarm clock and the only thing on his mind is when he can come back home after school and take a long nap. A bit weird considering he just woke up. All day at school, Jimmy is out of focus during class and is constantly yawning. He doesn’t even have enough energy at soccer practice like he used to. Jimmy is in a never-ending cycle of going to bed late and waking up feeling worn out.

Teens should be getting at least 81/2 hours of sleep every night; however, most students interviewed for this article said that they got around 6-7 hours of sleep. Missing a couple hours of sleep might not seem like a big deal but teens that do not get enough sleep at night have to deal with the consequences the next day.

Long-Quan Bach, a freshman, says that he doesn’t think the amount of sleep he gets is enough to suffice a school day and that causes him to lose focus in class.

According to kidshealth.org, lack of sleep has even been tied to slipping grades, and 25 percent of high school students fall asleep in class. Fifteen percent of high school students have driven drowsily, which can be a safety issue for them and other drivers on the road.

But what could be the reason for sleep deprivation? Sarah Seero, junior, was spot on when she said that sleep deprivation could be caused by “multiple things. There’s not really one concrete reason.”

One of the causes could be because teenagers reset their circadian rhythm, sort of like a biological clock, that tells the body to release melatonin later at night. This could mean that teens will not feel tired until around 10 or 11 p.m.

“Procrastination plays a very big role in how much sleep I get,” says Charley Ley, a junior. “Most of the procrastination that I do is from sources linked to technology such as computers, iPhones, phones, iPods, music, etc.”

Some of the students that were interviewed said that juggling after-school activities and homework leads them to take time away from their sleep.

“I think breaking homework up into chunks can be helpful,” said Ms. McVeigh, a health teacher. “Sleep is extremely important and if all other factors have been looked at it might be time to investigate study habits and find out how long a teacher really expects you to spend on an assignment.”

By Maryam Raad

Ways to Get More Sleep

·   Set up a regular bedtime- get into the habit of sleeping at the same time every night.

·   Exercise regularly, but not right before bed.

·   Avoid stimulants with caffeine- especially in the evening.

·   Relax your mind- listen to relaxing music.

·   Keep the lights low and keep away from a computer sleep an hour before bedtime.

·   Don’t nap too much during the day- 30 minutes is enough.

·   Don’t wait until the night before a test to study. Avoid all nighters.

·   Wake up to a bright light because it helps you get up easier.