mchale burges / equinox staff

Kiana Wright

Opinions Editor

We all love sleep, but do we ever get the chance to catch some? We always think of school, work and life schedules, but what about a sleep schedule? To be honest, I never want to cut time with my friends short. I have to do all my school work, and I also have a lot of other things going on. Sleep works around my schedule, and because of that, I’m usually exhausted. Not getting the sleep I need makes it much harder to do everything else. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), not getting the sleep you need can make you moody, and will actually make you perform poorly during your everyday tasks.

Why would you let a couple of hours of sleep get in the way of you doing well on your exams? Students value their schoolwork and want to do well. They will take time out of their sleep schedule to do so. Whether it involves staying up all night cramming for finals, or waking up early to finish some homework before your 8 a.m., students are cutting into their sleep time. The only problem is doing just this could actually make them do worse. The Time Magazine wrote, “Teens who stay up late at night cramming are more likely to have academic problems the following day — doing poorly on the test they studied for — finds a new study by University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), researchers.”

Sometimes it can be obvious when you need sleep, but sometimes it isn’t. Understanding and keeping track of how many hours you get each day can be important to your health, and in severe cases, other people around. The NSF states, “Remember: A brain that is hungry for sleep will get it, even when you don’t expect it. For example, drowsiness and falling asleep at the wheel cause more than 100,000 car crashes every year. When you do not get enough sleep, you are more likely to have an accident, injury and/or illness.” Sleep is such an important part of our day, and missing it or cutting it short can make your next day harder. It is also a danger to your health and can affect people near you. Not getting enough sleep can affect your relationships, family, and friends due to mood swings and being on edge.

The good side of it is, it’s preventable! Just get some sleep! NSF says, “Teens need about [eight] to [ten] hours of sleep each night to function best. Most teens do not get enough sleep — one study found that only 15% reported sleeping [eight and a half] hours on school nights.” The NSF then goes on to say that even if you stay up late on the weekends and sleep in late, it doesn’t make it that much better. Not being on a set schedule can affect your quality of sleep and mess up your biological clock.

There are some tricks that you can take to also help your sleep habits that you probably don’t know about. said some things to think about to make your sleep time more successful are: Stop using your cell phone 30 minutes before you go to bed, don’t drink caffeine after 3 p.m., and try to incorporate some sunshine into your day.

NSF says, “Many teens suffer from treatable sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy, insomnia, restless legs syndrome or sleep apnea.” If you think that you may be dealing with any of these disorders or sleep habits going to see your doctor could help you get the sleep you need. Taking time out of your day to set a sleep schedule can help you in so many ways.

NSF says, “Sleep is vital to your well-being, as important as the air you breathe, the water you drink and the food you eat.”

Kiana Wright can be contacted at

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