Dougherty students ignore the importance of sleep

A student, sitting in history class first period rests his eyes for just a second. He leans back in his chair and slowly drifts off to sleep. When he hears the clicks of the teacher’s heels, he quickly jolts his eyes open, only to fall back asleep when the teacher turns her back to the class. Sleep is essential. Yet, a majority of America’s students don’t get enough of it.

The question as to why we sleep perplexes many scientists. Many say that sleep is our body’s way to recuperate from the day’s activities. “We have to sleep because it is essential to maintaining normal levels of cognitive skills such as speech, memory, innovative and flexible thinking” (BBC).

CNN agrees, “Teenagers need eight to 10 hours of sleep, compared with the six to eight hours recommended for adults. Teenagers also tend to go to bed and wake later than adults. These biological tendencies clash with early morning high school schedules, leaving them sleepy in class” (CNN).

Moreover, only about eight percent of high school students in America get enough sleep on school nights (Center for Advancing Health).

Teenagers tend to manage time poorly, and spend more time on gadgets and social life, therefore leading to less time for homework and studying. Teenagers need eight to 10 hours of sleep, yet the amount of activities in a day often restrict them from receiving the well-earned and vital rest.

Students at DVHS should properly manage their time for studies and cut down on time spent for unnecessary activities, in order to be energized for the next day.

What are the impacts of sleep deprivation? As sleep is essential for maintaining hormonal balance and cognitive skills, lack of sleep can lead to problems in both health and academic performance.

“Sleep plays a critical role in thinking and learning. Lack of sleep hurts these cognitive processes in many ways. If you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t be able to remember what you learned and experienced during the day,“ states WebMD.

In a competitive environment such as DVHS, both students and athletes need to obtain the proper rest to perform at their best.

Lack of sleep can cause fatigue and lethargy, resulting in moodiness and irritation. Some long-term impacts of lack of sleep can be anxiety and depression. When the brain does not receive enough rest, grogginess can also affect coordination and stability, impacting motor skills and therefore making one more prone to injuries.

“We all have some sense of the relationship between sleep and our ability to function throughout the day. What many people do not realize is that a lack of sleep — especially on a regular basis — is associated with long-term health consequences, and that these conditions may lead to a shortened life expectancy” (Healthysleep).

There are many ways to stay on top of your schoolwork while also getting the essential rest. Mapping out the durations of activities or assignments can help one get enough time for everything else. Through scheduling,  one can stay organized and well-rested. Question yourself — how many hours of peaceful sleep do you get on a school night? If sleeping on a regular schedule is proving to be a difficult task for you, then maybe it’s time to reevaluate the time you spend on your phone and other such activities. Every student needs to take their eyes off of social media once in awhile and get vital rest. Only then will you be able to shine bright in school. Whether you dream of unicorns or Ryan Gosling, getting a decent amount of rest cannot be compromised at any cost. So close your eyes and dream.