High Schoolers: Get Some Sleep
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Only 15% of students get the recommended eight and a half hours of sleep on a school night according to the Sleep Foundation. As a junior in high school, getting eight and a half hours of sleep on a school night is a joke. So, we resort to things like coffee to stay alert.
What can you do for 10-30 minutes that will make you feel alert, relaxed and in a better mood? Nap! “Napping has psychological benefits. A nap can be a pleasant luxury, a mini-vacation. It can provide an easy way to get some relaxation and rejuvenation.” (Sleep foundation.) The Mayo Clinic says that best time to nap is between 2-3pm. So right after school! Taking a nap around this time reduces the likeliness of it affecting your nighttime sleep.
The Sleep Foundation does realize that not all high schoolers can get eight and a half to ten hours of sleep at night. Some things that affect your health are directly linked to sleep.
- You are more prone to acne, pimples and other skin related diseases.
- Driving while fatigued is like driving with a blood alcohol content of .08% which is illegal in most states.
- Affects ability to learn, will also impair ability to remember important things like numbers, homework, or dates.
- Lack of sleep can also cause feelings of anxiety about the future and current state, depression, and stress.
Here’s some helpful hints from the Mayo Clinic about getting a better night’s sleep.
- Create a sleep schedule. Go to bed get up at the same time everyday. That may sound hard but it will help.
- Be aware of what you eat and drink before you go to bed. Being stuffed or having a full bladder will cause late night trips to the bathroom. Also, eating sugary things like cake can give you a sugar high and make it hard to fall asleep. Don’t drink anything caffeinated, the effects can take hours to wear off.
- Create a bedtime ritual. Take a warm shower, brush your teeth, get into comfy pajamas, etc.
- Get Comfortable. What’s usually best is a cool, dark and quiet place, but it’s really all about what makes you the most comfortable.
- Limit your daytime naps. Try not to go over 30 minutes.
- Include physical activity in your daily routine, but don’t work out too close to bedtime. You might be too energized to fall asleep.
- Manage stress. If you have too much to do or think about, your sleep may suffer.
As a high schooler, it’s hard to get enough sleep. That’s why we see kids falling asleep in class and the kid next to him is trying to chug their coffee. So, maybe tonight you’ll get a good nights sleep!