Students Need Sleep

Brookyn Bailey, Staff Writer

Your alarm blares at six o’clock in the morning and you stumble out of bed.  You have
woke up with almost six hours of sleep, you’re still yearning for sleep, but you got more time to
rest last night than you usually do.  Having almost six hours of sleep is nothing short of a feat!
Junior student, Stephanie Golbraa, said, “Since I have so much to do after school I
usually get about five to six hours of sleep a night and sometimes when it’s really crazy I get
about four.  It affects my academic work because when I get to school I just want to sleep in
every class, but I can’t because I have to keep my GPA up.  So I never really catch up on sleep
until winter and summer break.”
Sleep deprivation is increasingly becoming an issue for high school students.  According
to The Sleep Foundation, most teens do not get enough sleep — one study found that only 15%
[of the students] reported sleeping 8 1/2 hours on school nights.  Their lack of sleep is affecting
many aspects of their academic careers.  Alertness and attention to detail, and other normal
and vital brain functions, are often compromised when a person does not get the proper
amount of sleep.  The Sleep Foundation says that lack of sleep can limit your ability to learn,
listen, concentrate, solve problems, remember, and to self-discipline. You may even forget
important information like names, numbers, your homework, and important due dates.
Concentration is important to academic success.  Whether a student is sitting at a desk
listening to a lecture or doing math homework at their kitchen table, students need to have the
ability to concentrate.  Concentration is at its highest when students get plenty of sleep.  Kellie
Bruner, student at Bingham High School said, “When I’m up late [at night]  I have a harder time
focusing in my classes and I usually don’t understand the lesson.”
Learning is the entire reason that children and teens go to school.  If we don’t get
enough sleep then our abilities to learn and retain information is drastically lowered.  For
example, if a student were to learn a new concept in math class and then take the test, he or
she wouldn’t earn a very good score because it is as if the student never even learned the
concept.
The American Psychological Association quotes one of the nation’s leading sleep
experts, Cornell University psychologist James B. Maas, “Almost all teen-agers, as they reach
puberty, become walking zombies because they are getting far too little sleep.”  This is because
our bodies, as teenagers, are biologically wired to fall asleep and wake up later than earlier, or
adult, years.  The APA reports that in a survey of 3,000 high school students, researchers found
that those who reported that they were getting C’s, D’s, and F’s in school obtained about 25
minutes less sleep and went to bed about 40 minutes later than students who reported they
were getting A’s and B’s.
Sleep affects so many aspects of our life and is vital to normal brain function, but often,
students put sleep on the back burner.  We, as students, need to try and make sleep more of a
priority in our lives in order to do well in school.