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veritas exquirere

Talon

veritas exquirere

Talon

Putting the rumors to rest

How poor sleep schedules affect OPHS students
A+survey+of+150+Oak+Park+High+School+students+reveals+that+approximately+83%25+of+students+do+not+receive+the+recommended+hours+of+sleep+for+adequate+development.
A survey of 150 Oak Park High School students reveals that approximately 83% of students do not receive the recommended hours of sleep for adequate development.

Wake up. Bible Study. Zero Period. School. Cross Country. Baseball. Homework. Sleep. Repeat. This is an average day in the life of freshman athlete Kate Newman. With her impossibly busy schedule, she scrapes by with a measly three hours of sleep on most nights, leaving her groggy and disoriented as she tackles another never-ending day.

“I’m up to about 1-1:30 doing homework, and then I wake up at 4:30,” Newman said. 

The Harvard Gazette identified that much of what our parents told us about sleep were myths. They passed on various misconceptions about what is best for adolescents, including the safety of melatonin supplements and more.

“Adolescents face myriad barriers when it comes to sleep, some of which are physiological and others behavioral,” Rebecca Robbins, a researcher in the Brigham’s Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders and Harvard Medical School instructor, said.

According to pediatrician Michael Crocetti from Johns Hopkins Medicine, teenagers need at least nine hours of sleep for cognitive development. However, seven out of ten high school students do not obtain the recommended hours of sleep on school nights.

When teenagers do not get enough sleep each night, it negatively influences various aspects of their lives. It can impair their ability to make good decisions, and the irritable behavior resulting from a lack of adequate sleep can strain their relationships with others. 

Many of the traits associated with teenagers in the media can be explained by poor sleep. Sleep deprivation can cause a deterioration in physical health, including decreased attention span, memory, energy and emotion regulation, all of which harm students throughout their day. This also has harmful effects on their mental stability.

“Teens who do not get enough sleep are more likely to get depression. . . [and] be involved in car crashes and other accidents because sleepiness affects reaction times,” wrote the National Library of Medicine.

But the real question is, does sleep impact success?

Students’ academic performance may improve with the recommended nine hours of sleep each night. When young teenagers are not well rested, they are unable to stay focused

Another factor that impacts sleep is the impractical workload for many students at OPHS. Regardless of the number of assignments students may receive, their procrastination is exacerbated by exhaustion and other external stressors. After a long and overwhelming day, the last thing students wish for is a mountain of homework to tackle.

“I think it is all part of what you sign up for when taking on certain leadership positions or extracurriculars,” senior ASB president Aaron Helfstein wrote. “But, typically I try to do work that is assigned to me right away so I can ensure a sufficient amount of sleep.”

Rest is an integral part of a well-rounded individual. It can lead to higher levels of success mentally, physically, and emotionally. Proper amounts of sleep can also decrease the likelihood of life-threatening health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. 

Sleep is only one of many factors contributing to a student’s success. While packing your schedule can open the door to new opportunities, overbooking yourself is only beneficial if it is manageable. While the amount of sleep each person believes is best for them is subjective, the quality of your life will vastly improve if you are well-rested.

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