The Age Old Dilemma: To sleep or not to sleep?


An adolescent’s lifestyle is often overlooked.

Often times, these years are seen as a preparation for the future, a formative part of your life. A constant underlying pressure to succeed creeps in from the moment you step into high school, and it sneaks up on you sooner or later.

Sleep is an essential part of a young adult’s life, and it’s important to realize this. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teens need eight to 10 hours of sleep a night.

Junior Marilyn Posadas said she maybe gets four to five hours of sleep each night.

“I always nap when I get home from school, but I rarely get a solid night of sleep,” Marilyn said.

Without the proper hours of sleep, the consequences include limited learning and hearing, which may lead to students missing things, such as important test days or homework due dates. Other problems that are caused from lack of sleep are aggression or inappropriate behavior, such as yelling at friends or family members.

The extreme measures that teens go through in order to be successful is nowhere near mentally healthy. There are students taking extracurriculars that take up most of their afternoon and strenuous classes on top of that. They can take a mental health day, but there are only so many days students can miss without missing too much or receiving truancy letters.

Don’t even get me started on exemptions. Senior Amber Azios said she wants to be able to exempt her all of her classes at the end of the year, so she can end her school year stress-free.

“Even if I’m sick or exhausted, I come to school for this reason,” she said.

Any type of slip up feels like it has major consequences. The role sleep plays on keeping a healthy lifestyle has more impact than we realize. Teachers ask a lot from their kids. These no homework days are helpful, but students are still sacked by other assignments and projects from other classes on a day-to-day basis that it hardly ever matters whether we have a free day or not.

Reckless, careless behavior has been dismissed as “teen angst”, but in fact these aren’t always teen traits but instead symptoms of chronic and severe sleep deprivation. Significant brain development is taking place during these prime years of high school, and sleep is to the utmost essential.

In conclusion, go to bed. That assignment could wait; there’s always time. But you still need to find a balance. Take the weekend to plan everything out, including all of your assignments, projects, test dates and quizzes, and know when it is time to put your phone down or turn off Netflix and go to bed.

Most of all, always make time for yourself. Your health is important, and you should always keep that in mind.