by TASHEA WILLIAMS '24
My name is Tashea Williams. I am currently in the 10th grade here at SUA! I recently did a survey to see the sleeping habits of current students, and what the school can do to help. I hope you enjoy this article and if there are any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me @Twilliams24@saintursula.org.
Most high school students are not getting the correct amount of sleep that is required. The most current survey taken by 220 students helps us to understand why. This is due to many factors such as 75.6% of the respondents explaining how they feel as if they are being overloaded with homework, having work after school, sports, watching and helping siblings, etc. To add on to that, 63.9% of SUA students feel as though they are not getting enough sleep which causes 80.2% to “fall asleep in class" and “become less attentive throughout the day due to tiredness.” Lack of sleep can affect extracurricular performances as well one student responded, “Staying up depends on the extracurriculars that you chose to do, but we should not have to sacrifice our health because we happen to like good grades AND soccer.” All of these factors play into the attitudes of students, good or bad, and reflect heavily in their grades. These factors also create much anxiety within students, and conflict with their personal lives.
The times that students wake up also plays into their attention span during school, and why they may feel the need to start school later or earlier than the current time. 62.7% of SUA’s students wake up before 6 A.M, which means they are already getting an earlier start aside from the 37.3% that get up at 7 A.M or later. Getting up earlier could have positive effects which include organization and skills, productivity, time management (say if you want to get breakfast but still make it to school on time, or have to take siblings to school and parents to work, etc.), and we all know the saying too well “early bird gets the worm."
Many of the students that filled out the forms expressed their feelings of loving the 10 A.M start SUA had a couple of weeks ago because it “gave them more time to gather their thoughts in the morning." Multiple students felt “less rushed,”others “caught up on sleep they desperately needed,” and another popular opinion was that students felt that they had “much more energy throughout the day” that they don’t normally have on ordinary school days. However there was the opposing side that “the day seemed much longer" and "5th bell was taken away." Others suggested they would “rather start at 8 A.M and be done by 1 P.M” which is an interesting opinion since that would be completely changing the school schedule. Another popular opinion was “We had 2 classes after lunch” which again falls into making the school day seem longer. Many also suggested that a 9 A.M start would be beneficial since it is in between 8 A.M and 10 A.M. 56.2% voted to have a 10 A.M start, 35.5% voted to have 8:30 A.M starts, while 8.3% of students voted to keep the original 8:00 A.M schedule.
By using the new information I have from the survey, I can now expand ideas to you on how to receive a better night’s sleep. Most students suggest that if they had less homework their sleep schedule would change drastically so that they may go to bed at a more reasonable time. Melatonin is also a great way to relax your body since the medicine was specifically created to help with sleep. The downside of things such as melatonin is that many people become dependent on it as one student submitted in a response “I no longer can sleep without melatonin.” So as I am telling you these suggestions I kindly ask that you responsibly use them and do your research on this medication and ask your doctor if this is safe for you to take if necessary). Music, which is also proven to help with stress and anxiety, is another way to help relax your mind. Other options are yoga, researching better sleep positions, ASMR, self-care routine, taking away screens from yourself (also a great way to practice self-control), and praying.
In conclusion, trying new things helps people in many different ways. Maybe if you were to try some of the things listed above it would help you to receive a good night’s sleep, or even relieve stress, whether it’s from homework, tests, quizzes, exams, etc. The end result may surprise you, and if it does please reach out and let me know! If not, suggest other strategies that can be used. Have a great rest of your day :)!