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Catching the perfect Zzz’s

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Senior Allie Faulkner and French teacher Melinda Von Rosenberg are both examples of the many people in high school not getting enough sleep at night.

“I never have enough time to sleep much during the school year,” Von Rosenberg said, “because I have too many things to do during my waking hours.”

Many students these days are weighed down with extra curricular activities and homework, making getting enough sleep just another challenge to have to fight, Von Rosenberg said. Faulker has many activities that make it hard to catch enough sleep at night, resulting in her falling asleep in class.

“I fall asleep in class all the time,” Faulkner said. “My teachers don’t typically say anything. Some teachers will move me up to the front, but I still fall asleep.”

Although Faulkner tries not to fall asleep in class, she can’t help herself.

“It’s kind of awkward when I fall asleep in class because my friends will take pictures of me, and I feel bad because it is so disrespectful to the teacher,” Faulkner said. “I can’t really help it. I’m just so tired.”

Von Rosenberg relates to Faulkner, saying that it was also difficult for her to stay awake in class.

“I, too, had a bit of trouble saying awake in one of my chemistry classes. I used to try so hard to stop myself from falling asleep,” Von Rosenberg said. “I still made an A in that class, but my teacher made a few comments about me in front of the class.”

Stressed students as well have a hard time getting enough hours. Faulkner is the captain of the Blue Brigade, as well as in dance outside of school, making it extremely hard for her to be able to balance school and activities. She finds herself often having to do her homework during lunch.

“During the week I typically get five to six hours of sleep, and during the weekend I would get as much as 10 hours or as little as three,” Faulkner said. “The latest time I have ever stayed up doing homework was either sophomore or junior year, and it was like 2:30-ish or possibly 3 in the morning.”

Faulkner is involved in so many things outside of school that she finds herself staying up later and later, making it harder to stay awake in class.

With 7 a.m. practices for Blue Brigade and studio dance until 9:30 or 10 at night, not to mention a homework load to get through after that, Faulkner doesn’t have a lot of time for snoozing.  However, Faulkner said waking up early isn’t all bad.

“You feel like you get a good start to the day. I love dancing in the morning because I feel like it wakes me up, so it fixes itself,” Faulkner said. “I always get to see the sun rise and I get a great parking spot. It’s really hard to get out of bed, though. I have five alarms set and still sleep past the last one.”

According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep varies mostly from age group to age group, but it also can be impacted by one’s individual lifestyle and health. It really depends on one’s own amount of desired sleep. People who don’t get a lot of exercise can most likely function on just seven hours of sleep. But a very active person who eats a very nutritional diet is most likely to function better with nine hours of sleep every night, according to the

National Sleep Foundation.

It is not just the things people do in their everyday lives that can affect their sleep. Often, specific foods can help or harm the amount of sleep a person gets.   

Always beware of the hidden caffeine; it is not a secret that caffeine is a stimulant. Even moderate caffeine is a stimulant.

Von Rosenberg said she’s noticed students try to finish work for one class during another class, always playing catch up.

“I wish we could all just have a little more time to do things we need to do and get a little more sleep, but these days it’s worse,” Von Rosenberg said. “I believe it’s taking more time for young people to keep up their daily obligations to social media every day, so they don’t have much time left over for homework and sleep.”

People are also born with the amount of sleep they need. It is hard for one person to try to go from having just five hours of sleep every night to then trying to go to an eight-hour sleep schedule. They are born with the amount of sleep a person needs is a hard thing to change, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

“There have been times when I stayed up to the wee hours of the night to get caught up, and that has happened quite a bit over the years,” Von Rosenberg said. “I’ve stayed up until 1, 2 or 3 in the morning before. Anyhow, I hope that this year I can get more sleep because I only get about four to five hours per night most of the time.”

Students often complain about how teachers assign a lot of homework and don’t understand that student’s whole lives are not school. Faulkner said sophomores and juniors are assigned so much homework that they can barely get anything else done.

“Teachers should just understand we are busy,” Faulkner said. “Senior year is a lot better about the homework load, but I know sophomores and juniors have so much homework. Maybe give us longer for homework assignments.”

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Catching the perfect Zzz’s