Sleep: Still Important

Duncan Noah

Duncan Noah, Writer

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Teens, on average, need nine hours of sleep to function like happy, well-adjusted members of society.  But those nine hours are never met.  Why do teens skip the necessity of sleep to stay up to ungodly hours watching reruns of “Ice Road Truckers” with a melting Klondike bar slowly dripping onto their Snuggie-clad laps?  Because every teen believes themselves to be invincible and immune to the effects of an abbreviated night’s sleep.

“I can tell when a student hasn’t had enough sleep because they’re not snapping to attention as they normally would,” Marianne Lang, says a 10th grade Honors English teacher.  Not only does an individual suffer when too few sheep are counted, but their class suffers.  The inattention to instructions caused by lack of sleep forces the teacher to repeat directions, putting the whole class behind a few seconds.  And those seconds add up.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends avoiding chocolate and other caffeinated treats, television and other focused activities before bed, and to establish a pre-bed routine.  So try to avoid a routine of staying up late watching “Ice Road Truckers” with a Klondike.  Try to take a shower or a bath each night to calm down after the day and to save time in the morning.

Driving while being tired can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence.  A survey done in 2009 by the National Sleep Foundation suggests that as many as 1.9 million drivers have either been in an accident or come close to one as a result of drowsy driving.  With so many students driving to school early in the morning after working on homework far into the night, it seems that the drive en route to school would be a veritable minefield of drivers with drooping eyelids.  With such potential for terrible accidents, it seems absurd that Olympia High School would want to start school even earlier, possibly increasing the rate of teenage car wrecks.

Depriving yourself of the rest you require can make it harder to concentrate on schoolwork, potentially cause you to wreck, and scariest of all, leave you off your game when talking to prospective dates.  Nothing makes that special someone retreat faster than a groggy, “Hello” in the morning combined with the always charming eye-crust congealing around the red and bleary eyes.

I don’t always sleep nine hours, but when I do I feel refreshed the next day.

Stay well-rested my friends.

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