Out of the print Harbinger’s seven editors, only two of us got the doctor-recommended eight hours of sleep last night. Morgan got four and a half, Sophie and Phoebe five, Pauline six, I got seven and Tommy and Annie somehow managed eight.
Sleep deprivation runs rampant through high schools, and the staff of the Harbinger is no exception. We stay up late to get that last edit, make another graphic and wait for that one source to call us back.
And that’s just the stuff that we do for the paper. We’re involved in other extracurriculars like student council, football or debate. We take AP and IB classes, and we still manage to have a personal life, just like everyone else walking the halls. So I think it’s safe to say we aren’t the only Lancers running on little hours of sleep and large amounts of coffee. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 87 percent of high school students get less than the recommended eight to nine hours of sleep.
Why do we do it to ourselves? How am I suddenly looking at a clock that says 11:30 p.m. when I sat down at my desk at 4:30 p.m.? Why do we overcrowd our schedules with activities that end up cutting into our sleep?
Maybe it’s the pressure surrounding us to be the best, or maybe it makes us feel better knowing we spent more time studying. Maybe we just can’t sleep because we’re worrying about what we have to do tomorrow. Whatever the reason may be, it’s clear that high school students have a tendency to be overworked and under rested.
Will starting school later help? Sure, it would be nice to have an extra hour in the morning. But if I knew school started at 8:40 a.m. instead of 7:40 a.m., I would probably just stay up to 12:00 a.m. instead of 11:00 p.m.
We could push back the start time of school, or we could just start getting more shut-eye. I know it’s sometimes out of our control, but there are also nights when you can choose to just sleep. In the long run, outside of our academic careers, one extra hour of studying or one missing math assignment won’t matter. But developing healthy sleep patterns will.