Students struggle to get enough sleep

It’s well known that a lack of sleep is bad for anyone, but in particular it is bad for students. Many students wrongly see a lack of sleep as a good thing or at the very least beneficial to them in some way. This may be because of an increased amount of time to finish work or study, but often the drawbacks of being sleep deprived greatly outweighs the benefits of a few extra hours of study time.

Studies have shown that students who are sleep deprived have a hard time focusing in class and get worse grades. This shows that clearly replacing time for sleep with studying is not beneficial in the long run. Other things keeping students up late are, “work and school,” said senior Stephen Rummel.

Students recognize that they are not getting enough sleep. “I’m always up till midnight or one,” senior Amy Gelnett said. It is recommended that adults receive 7-9 hours of sleep a night and that teens should get even more. “I get four to six hours of sleep,” Gelnett said.  Rummel added, “I usually get four to five hours of sleep.”

Students also recognize the negative impact a lack of sleep has on them. “I’m in a terrible mood when I get to school,” said Rummel. This can directly impact performance. Senior Evan Gailey said, “On some occasions, I feel lazy and don’t want to do my school work.”

What to do about students getting too little sleep is not an easily answerable question. Many students believe that they need the time that they are losing sleep to for homework. That being said, it is unlikely that teachers are going to stop giving students work to do at home.

 As a result, students have fairly limited options. If possible it may be best for them to change their schedules so they have more time available for work. If that’s not possible, it may come down to prioritizing sleep over extra study time. It is better for health and will likely be more beneficial to learning as a whole. No matter the solution, it is clear that a lack of sleep is a widespread problem. Do most people get enough sleep? Gelnett said, “No, definitely not.”

Images from Wikimedia Creative Commons Psy3330 W1 and Public Domain Images.

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