Sleep is critical to student health

Being a high school student is stressful. We get lots of homework, and don’t have a lot of time to do it. We stay up late studying and get less sleep than we should, and we don’t realize that it negatively affects our academic performance. Have you ever stayed up late preparing for an important test, and then didn’t do well on it? I have, and it’s frustrating.

Teenagers should be getting eight to ten hours of sleep every night, but for most high school students, including me, that is unrealistic. According to one study from the National Sleep Foundation, only 15 percent of high school students reported getting eight and a half hours of sleep on school nights. Sleep isn’t just needed to do well in school, but we also need it to develop our brains and allow us to grow.

We can’t control the amount of homework our teachers assign us, but we can control how efficiently we work. Many students, like me, need to improve their time management skills and efficiency while doing homework, so we can do more work in less time. The work will also be better, because the later you stay up, the more tired you get, and that just makes it harder to do good work.

 I sometimes feel that I won’t be able to fall asleep if I know I have work that I haven’t done, so I choose to stay up and finish it, even if it isn’t good for me. I know that I need sleep, but in the moment, it doesn’t feel like a priority. 

I think people should be educated on how much sleep they need, so in the future we can work on going to bed at a time that allows us to get enough sleep. Personally, I need to focus on my time management. I need to give myself enough time to do my homework, sleep, and have at least some free time. I think other high school students should try to do the same.

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