Let’s Talk About It

January 21, 2014

By Sampurna Basu

Sampurna Basu Skyline High School
Sampurna Basu
Skyline High School

Hitting the snooze button to get more sleep

It is finals season and that means stress levels are going up while hours of sleep are going down. Some days, you feel forced to choose between that extra hour of sleep or a potentially better grade. However, all of the choices we make for our bodies come with consequences; choosing to forgo sleep is no exception.

Sleep is basically food for the brain, so depriving your brain of much-needed rest detracts from your mood, awareness and overall performance, according to the National Sleep Foundation. By not getting enough sleep, you are actually detracting from your ability to score well on that test you were cramming for in the first place.

Here are some proven consequences that might seem even a little more relevant. Lack of sleep can actually lead to increased acne and other skin problems. You can slather on as much hydroxatone as you want, but not getting enough sleep cancels it all out. Lack of sleep also encourages the body to crave unhealthy foods, such as sweets or fried foods that you might have had the willpower to resist otherwise. There are many more where those came from but the point is: You need to sleep.

Of course, sometimes it just seems as if the entirety of doing homework, stressing, cramming, testing and repeating is a system setting you up to fail. To address this, the Issaquah School District is actively looking into homework reforms after a survey taken in the 2012-2013 school year. Until those reforms are enacted, make sure to make informed decisions. Try some new sleeping patterns to make sure you get the number of hours you need: The average teen needs 9.25 hours a night.

Common suggestions include napping in the afternoon or simply going to bed at 8 p.m. in order to get a couple of extra hours in the morning. Whichever you choose, make sure to maintain a routine and stay away from artificial sleep inducers. There is also the universal solution of not procrastinating: Plan your week so you don’t have too many high-stress assignments cluttered into one day. It’s your life; make choices that work for you. Sweet dreams!

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