No Sleep Can Be Your Worst Nightmare

Malena Liguori, Contributing writer

alarm clock

Photo from The Conversation

Your alarm sounds for the third time and in the distance you can hear your parent screaming your name. It’s useless hitting the snooze button again, so you decide to finally roll out of bed.

Another day with less than five hours of sleep.

Many students Bishop Kenny High School deal with this very common problem: sleep

Students throughout the entire day who get little or no sleep, walk around sluggishly
and in terrible moods. This never-ending cycle of getting no sleep, school, sports, staying up late doing homework and studying is detrimental to students’ physical and mental health.

“The more homework you have, the less sleep you get,” sophomore Andy Waitrovich says.

Talking about how you little of sleep you got the night before is a repetitive conversation topic among students. Less sleep and more homework equals a lot of complaining.

“Trying to be healthy and get more sleep not only affects if you completed all of your
assignments or if you finished studying, it affects your mind and your body,” Waitrovich affirms.

Studies show that a lack of sleep can weaken and have a great effect on reflexes and decision-making. A person that is sleep deprived making decisions is almost the equivalent of someone who is under the influence. This also affects students’ driving abilities and can make them more prone to a car accident. A chronic lack of sleep also impacts the ability of the brain to retain information.

“It is funny how not getting enough sleep from studying the whole night ends up useless because your brain doesn’t get enough time to organize the information,” Waitrovich says.

The brain needs those hours of sleep to memorize key information and actually help retain the studied information. Without that vital organization time, it becomes more difficult to pay attention, learn new things, and make decisions, which are all things needed to be a successful student.

“One thing that helps me fall asleep more easily is sports,” Waitrovich says. “I do cross country and soccer at Bishop Kenny.”

Exercise is tremendous for creating healthier sleeping habits. The National Sleep Foundation reports that just 10 minutes of exercise each day can dramatically increase one’s chance of a good night’s sleep.

Although exercise can promote better sleeping habits, it also can be the reason why student athletes don’t get enough sleep. Sports practices or games can run late, thus causing them to arrive home late, eat dinner late, and start their homework at a later time. Exercise is only beneficial if the student has an organized and routine lifestyle that allows them to get the necessary hours of sleep that their bodies need to function.

There are many different ways that one can improve sleeping habits and improve time
management. Follow a strict routine every night before you go to bed. If you know you have sports practices, revolve your homework time around those practices. Do as much as you can beforehand, or start it as soon as you get home. Study for 10 minutes each night so you don’t have to cram it all into one night before that big test. Listen to soft music and take warmer showers to calm your body before it’s time to sleep. Most importantly, set a reasonable “bed time” that allows you to get the recommended hours of sleep you need.

Getting that recommended amount of sleep can make the whole day better, healthier and happier. Attention spans increase, the brain’s ability to learn increases, and the feeling of grogginess and grumpiness decreases.