It’s midnight, and you have that one assignment left: AP Calculus homework. You’re head bobbing all over the place, and you just want sleep. Sleep deprivation is the worst enemy to students at Round Lake High School. Many students and teachers battle with getting enough sleep.
Sleep deprivation is nothing to take lightly. Sleep deprivation limits a student’s ability to learn and concentrate on key terms. According to the Stanford University News Center, sleep deprivation increases the likelihood that teens will have an inability to concentrate, get poor grades, feel drowsy while driving, and suffer from anxiety and depression. These are only just some of the side effects of not getting enough sleep. Sleep is vital and essential for the body.
As reported by the National Sleep Foundation, teens need about 8-10 hours of sleep each night to function best the next day. Most teens do not get that recommended amount of sleep, decreasing focus and learning. “On a daily basis, I get 4-6 hours of sleep. Homework plays a big role, and sometimes I barely get any sleep,’’ said Sophomore Alexandra Kolacz. Homework plays a major role in why students can’t get enough sleep at night, leading to stress, depression, and very poor grades. Sophomore Catherine Garcia feels she has a solution. “Teachers should assign stuff that doesn’t take more than 30 minutes to complete,” she said.
In addition to trying to complete heavy homework loads, teenagers are biologically wired to sleep later. According to an article on the Mayo Clinic’s website, “Everyone has an internal clock that influences body temperature, sleep cycles, appetite and hormonal changes. The biological and psychological processes that follow the cycle of this 24-hour internal clock are called circadian rhythms. Puberty changes a teen’s internal clock, delaying the time he or she starts feeling sleepy and awakens.” Many teens do not feel sleepy until late at night and then want to sleep in. Many studies have proven that school start times are too early for most teens.
And students are not the only ones that are struggling with sleep deprivation. “I never got enough sleep,” said English teacher Sharon Aiello. “I only get three to four hours of sleep because I struggle with falling and staying asleep at night.” Health teacher Annette Gofron said she also struggles with falling asleep, but it’s usually because her children wake her up. She says she does not remember suffering from sleep deprivation like students do today.
Considering how serious sleep deprivation is, and how widespread it is among RLHS students, maybe getting enough sleep should be the school’s no. 1 priority.