Snoozing Through School

The Importance of Sleep to a Student


Maxie Eller, Writer

The droning of the teacher standing at the board becomes more and more distant as the student’s brain begins to shut down. Eyelids become more like weights as he fights to keep them open. Despite his brain’s protests, the student can’t help drifting off. He can’t fight the call of sleep any longer and succumbs to the calming darkness. 


According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average teenager needs between eight and ten hours of sleep every night to function at the highest level. That sounds like a nice number, but in reality, teenagers are averaging between five to eight hours of sleep every night. The fact is, students need more sleep. 


“When I don’t get enough sleep I feel kind of sick and dizzy,” Whitney Olsen said (10). 


Students often spend time before bed doing a variety of things such as homework, studying, preparing for the next day, or spending time on their phones. Students are sometimes distracted by phones or the internet and end up staying up hours past when they needed to go to sleep. Even when some students decide to go to bed, they can’t fall asleep. 


“I usually have homework, but it’s also a habit to go to bed at midnight,” Tori Isaacks said (12). “Most of the time can get home and take a nap between five and seven and that helps a lot. When I can’t fall asleep, I get on my phone for a little while until I can fall asleep.” 


Lack of sleep can cause a variety of problems for teenagers. These problems can affect students in their education due to not being able to concentrate in class, or falling asleep at their desks. Students’ social lives can suffer because a lack of sleep causes stress, strain, and a shorter temper. Students who have to drive to and from school can experience drowsiness while driving which can increase their risk of accidents. 


“My goal is always eleven pm, but I sometimes have too much homework,” Olsen said. “It’s hard to finish everything that I need to do and then get to bed when I want to. Sometimes I even fall asleep while doing homework.”


There are many ways to prevent sleep deprivation and ensure that hours in bed are well used. Apps such as Sleep Cycle and Pzizz can help students set alarms and limit their time online at night. Having a consistent bedtime or a time to start winding down the day can help the body calm down and know when it is time to sleep. 


“I value my sleep very much, so it’s important for me to go to bed at night,” William Morgan said (10).

Photo by Ayanna Alexander