By Miriam Kotamarti | Staff Writer
High school is a busy time for many students. At Pearce, much of the student body is juggling between extracurriculars, AP classes and their social lives. In order to have a healthy and happy life sleep is extremely important, yet many students aren’t getting the necessary amount.
The National Sleep Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy, says that the healthy amount of sleep for an average teen is about nine hours per night. An organization called Nationwide Children’s says that the average high schooler in America gets about seven and a half hours every night.
Many students get much less. “I only get three to five hours of sleep on a daily basis,” freshman Abbi Stephenson said.
Sleep is vital to have a productive day and to be successful. According to the Harvard Division of Medicine, sleep has been proven to help people breathe and manage stress better.
“If i don’t get enough sleep the night before, I wake up really drowsy and have to drink a lot of coffee. Actually I probably wouldn’t be awake right now if I didn’t have my coffee,” freshman Loren Lasley said.
According to many Pearce students, the most common cause for sleep deprivation is either procrastination or getting distracted from cellular devices.
Pearce offers a pretty vigorous curriculum that causes homework to pile up if not taken care of. Procrastination can be prevented by planning, putting one’s phone away, and going somewhere other than the house to study.
According to the NSF, phone usage before going to sleep is shown by numerous studies to be interfering with student’s REM cycle and delayed circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythm is a mental, physical and behavioral schedule that the body naturally follows.
According to Sound Sleep Institute, “The blue light from many devices, not just the iPad, can have a negative effect on melatonin levels because this type of light tells the body to stay awake and alert.”
Melatonin is the hormone that causes the body’s circadian rhythm to occur, and if it is unbalanced, sleep is basically delayed.
Lack of sleep deeply affects a person’s schedule. It can in fact be very dangerous. Over 100,000 deaths occur every year from drowsiness while driving. Drivers who feel drowsy should always call an Uber car or ask someone else to drive them.
Excessive amounts of homework are constantly plaguing the lives of the student body. Some students find that studying away from home helps them sleep better.
“To help with procrastination, sometimes I go out to do it and just work for a long time so I can sleep when I get home,” freshman Wilson Rogers said. “I usually go to the Richardson Library or a coffee shop.”
If students get enough sleep they will most likely experience better immunity to sickness, better mood, more productivity, weight control and clearer thinking,
These benefits could make any student’s high school life become 10 times better and easier. If students don’t have to work as hard on keeping their eyes open, they can focus and be more productive.