Do SHS Students Get Enough Sleep?

By Tarini Venkat

How much sleep do Sharon High School students get? According to the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers should get between 8 to 10 hours each night. How much do they really get?

Senior Jackson Fawcett says he’s probably getting one of the least amounts in the entire school. Usually he gets 6 hours per night, but recently he’s been getting 4.

“In large part, it’s because of my need to refine my work and make sure it’s good quality and the best I can make it, but that desire is also combined with lots of work from classes.”

“Although there have been helpful efforts by Dr. Libano, like the time management calculator, the culture at Sharon High can make them ignore their need to sleep, so they’ll try to manage their time as much as they can with family, extracurriculars, SAT prep, sports, and parties. I’m realizing that you can’t do any of those things without sleep.” Fawcett added.
Junior Ben Dickerman says he gets 8 to 9 hours of sleep per night. “I just pick a time where I wanna be done with everything and try to be done by that time,” he said.

Junior May Ziv-Kreger said “I get a nice amount because I try to not procrastinate and wake up early. That’s a good trick — instead of being really tired and staying up late to finish work, I wake up early and finish it in the morning.”

Junior Aly Coleman said, “Online studies show that adults are supposed to get less sleep than teenagers and our sleep schedules are different, which would make it unfair for school to begin at 8 O’Clock for both parties (teens and adults).”

Seven years ago, school started even earlier- Sharon High School used to start at 7:25 AM, but that was moved to 8:05.

Spanish teacher Mrs. Silipo says that the later sleep time has had no effect on the level of awakeness of the students.

“I think students stay up too late and they will continue to stay up too late no matter what the start time is,” she said.

She also added that her generation went to sleep earlier. “Our parents made us. We didn’t have laptops, cell phones, or any devices in our rooms, so no distractions. We just had one family TV in the living room and that’s it. There was nothing to do at night but sleep.”

Music teacher Mr. McGee disagrees, saying that we saw more alertness and a drop in tardies after. “We found that second period was the best period of the day- we were awake, and our minds still fresh,” he said.

He added that he doesn’t understand how some students go to bed in the early hours of the morning and wake up in time for school, referring to it as ‘burning the candle at both ends’. “Eventually they’re just going to break down. You have to discipline yourself to go to bed on time, even if you might not get everything you wanted to do done.”

“Studies show that what you do in the last 30-60 minutes of your day affects how well you sleep. If you’re doing homework or in front of a screen, your mind is still racing, which makes it hard to sleep.” McGee proposed an alternative, listening to calming music before you go to sleep, which studies show help you go to sleep faster.

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