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It’s Time for Bed

Posted on: October 31, 2016

By: Abby Dye 

    When we were little, our parents gave us a bedtime of 9:00 p.m. As we grew older, our bedtime got later and later; now many of us go to bed after midnight and wake up at 5:00 a.m. for school. Though many parents and teachers pin this lack of sleep on student’s obsession with cell phones or other electronic devices, the true blame lies elsewhere: biological reasons, homework, and high expectations.

    A teenager’s biological clock creates sleeping changes, according to The National Sleep Foundation. A teen’s body shifts naturally to later sleeping times as they mature, often making it difficult for teenagers to go to bed before 11:00 p.m. Due to this natural occurrence, and school starting so early in the morning, teenagers become sleep deprived. The body needs at least eight hours of sleep a night, yet many teenagers only get six. Sleep is critical for a person’s health and when sleep is reduced, it’s a recipe for disaster. The struggle can be seen through a teenager’s motivation and even reflects through his or her grades.

    Homework seems to be frustrating for many students and finding time for it can be difficult. Having up to seven classes worth of homework is something that could take hours to complete. If you are one of many Highlanders who have a job, you are aware of the responsibility of time management. When trying to keep a job and get good grades, sleep becomes less important. Consistently not getting enough sleep is dangerous. Sleeping in on the weekend is harmful as well, since getting up for school on Monday will further mess with your sleeping schedule, making you drowsier than ever.

    It’s drilled in our head from the day we become freshman that colleges will see everything. From our grades, attendance, GPA and extracurriculars, school can be stressful for any teenager. Trying to meet the expectations of colleges while deciding what to do after high school also factors into sleep deprivation. This fear and anxiety for the future can linger to our sleep-the state where we are supposed to be the most calm. If you find yourself dreaming of certain symbols or events, they could be revealing what your mind is trying to tell you. For example, dreaming of taking an exam can represent the fear of not meeting expectations or failing. Be open to your dreams and don’t let the lack of sleep stop you from figuring out what your brain is telling you.

    Overall, sleep is a critical need for humans and as we get older, it’s harder to fit into our daily lives. When expectations are paired with our natural body functions, we put sleep to the side when we really should put it first. Cell phones do play a part in keeping us up too long when they are used a distraction, but they are not the only obstacle standing in our way of a good night’s sleep. Go to bed earlier or set a time when you shut everything off and go straight to bed to get critical sleep. If time is getting extremely hard to balance, try taking a study hall. Sleep is critical for our well being; don’t overlook its importance.