Is Your Nap Time During Class Time?
Hannah Blomdal, a freshman at Woodside, revealed on the twenty-eighth of September, “last night I got nine hours of sleep.” She had to make some small sacrifices to make time for her long rest, but she decided that it was definitely worth it. “I had to stop watching the TV show that I was watching ‘cause I knew that I needed my nine hours of sleep for school the next morning.” Blomdal reflects that getting nine hours of sleep improves her overall performance, “I am a lot less cranky in the morning, and I focus better on all of my schoolwork.”
This wouldn’t surprise Maureen Rafferty, the district nurse, because she believes that there is a correlation between getting enough sleep and performing well in school, “if you do not feel well, you do not learn well.”
Mr. Kaddoura, a math teacher at Woodside, agrees that students who do not get enough sleep do not focus in class. He has noticed that students “are spacing out” and that some of them even “put their heads down” on their desks.
Woodside’s cross country coach, Chris Harmon, declares that “when an athlete is sleep deprived they cannot perform well, they don’t even think well.” He believes that it is not possible for an athlete to perform at their maximum capacity unless they get all of the sleep that they need. For different students, this is a different necessity; it can range anywhere from eight and a half to nine and a half hours of sleep every night.
An anonymous Woodside freshman laughs that “nap time should definitely be brought into high schools.” Students do end up getting this nap- during what some people refer to as SSR. Another freshman from Woodside admits to sneaking in some shuteye during sixth and seventh period’s twenty minutes of reading, “I lay on my backpack, turn my back towards the teacher, and sleep.”
Sleep should be a priority in the lives of teenagers. However, according to about.com, teenagers only get on average 7.4 hours of sleep instead of the 9.5 that they need. Where do those two hours go?
Students have quite a hectic schedule trying to manage school, sports, homework, and keeping up a social life. Clara Woods, a player for Woodside’s water polo team and for Redwood City’s travel softball team, struggles to find time for everything.
Getting exercise during the day is meant to help give students a more restful sleep, but for those students who play a sport, that exercise is the very obstacle to getting sleep. Woods revealed that after practice she just doesn’t have the time to sleep, “I get home in the evening with absolutely no homework done. If I want to finish it all, I would have to stay up until two in the morning- which is what I end up doing some nights.”
Dr. Hanlon shares that not getting enough sleep slows a person’s reaction time. Some vital reactions can be lost, “like not stopping fast enough when something comes out quickly in front of your car.”
Woods observes that, “I don’t flinch anymore,” when she isn’t getting enough sleep. This causes her to not react as quickly as she would if she were wide awake.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that “each year drowsy driving is responsible for at least 100,000 automobile crashes, 71,000 injuries, and 1,550 fatalities.” Students should be aware that driving to school while they are still half asleep jeopardizes their safety.
To avoid being a victim of a tragic automobile incident, students should ensure that they get a full night’s sleep every night.
Rafferty has some tips to help students get enough sleep.
Rafferty stresses to students who are having trouble sleeping to “try to go to sleep at the same time every night.” The human body’s internal clock is set to sleep from 10:00pm-6:00am every night. Disrupting that pattern may cause less restorative sleep.
Then, she recommends that students should not have very much media intake right before bed. The bright light from a television or computer screen makes a person wide awake, which would be quite convenient in class the next day, but not when it is time to go to bed.
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