What is Sleep?

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What is Sleep?

Sanjana Sivakumar, Journalist

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We all have those nights, when we have so much to do that we don’t get enough sleep. This is true especially, for high schoolers. Teenagers in high school have so much to do from sports to homework, that they don’t always have time for themself and to get a good night’s sleep.

Teenagers need to get at least nine or more hours of sleep, yet many teenagers only get four to six hours of sleep. On top of this, most have to wake up early for school and stay late for practice. Without ample sleep, teenagers are tired in the morning. This leads to problems with their school work and doesn’t leave time for themselves.

“The statistics are powerful, with 41% of middle school students and only 13% of high school students getting the 8.5-9.5 hours of sleep they need each night,” ND Catherine Darley stated in the article Teen Sleep Getting it Right.

But when do the students of Ripon High go to sleep? Well it’s usually late at night, ranging from ten to two p.m.

“If I don’t have anything going on the day, I usually go to bed around 10 but on a normal day it’s anywhere from 11-1. That may not sound late but I usually get up at 5,” sophomore Claire DeKruyf said.

Some teenagers have a sleep disorder called insomnia. Insomnia is the inability to sleep. Those teenagers have to do their regular school routine and they still can’t physically sleep at night. Usually, people with insomnia are so tired and want to sleep, but they can’t.

“Having insomnia is horrible. You just lie on your bed and your mind is racing with thoughts and you can’t have a break. You feel trapped. You’re imprisoned by your own mind and you want to sleep more than anything but you can’t. You just stay there thinking about how the next day is going to play out without you being well rested. By the time I can finally go to sleep it’s 3:30-5:00,” sophomore Jimena Martinez stated.

What causes teenagers not to be able to sleep? Insomnia is one, but for most others it’s their phone. The light from phones and other devices, disables the release of melatonin, a hormone that basically tells your body that it’s nighttime. It is proven that putting your phone away about an hour before, someone falls asleep can help get a better night’s sleep.

“I think all high schoolers should go to bed at an earlier hour and just shut off their phones at least half an hour before bed. I think our phones are what really hinder our sleep. Of course there’s other things like homework, or studying, especially now that finals are so close. But I think most teenagers are so attached to their cell phones that we don’t want to put them down even at night,” sophomore Jimena Martinez said.

High schoolers can’t really do anything if their heavily involved. They have homework, practice, volunteering, and etc. The only way to achieve maximum time for sleep is by doing homework and other things early and not procrastinating. Procrastinating is very harmful to teenagers, yet it’s all most young adults ever do.

“I think the only thing high schoolers can do to try to get more sleep is to try and get their homework done, especially if they are heavily involved,” sophomore Claire DeKruyf stated.