EDITORIAL — February 11, 2020 at 12:24 pm

High school students are sleep deprived

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Students struggle to concentrate in school without a proper sleep pattern. Photo by Sam Grizelj

 Throughout high school, students struggle to balance assignments, extracurriculars and clubs, while also preparing themselves for young adulthood. Since all of these extra activities take hours of work and energy, students are required to put in the effort on a daily basis to stay on track. Their energy and attention from the beginning of the day begins to diminish as each class goes by.

Students may take a variety of rigorous classes, those of which include APs, dual enrollment and College Academy. All classes consist of different types of classwork and at-home assignments, which take a great deal of time to complete depending on the student. Since grades prepare a student for life after high school, they are an extremely important aspect of a student’s future when applying to different colleges and job opportunities. The work and experience required for adulthood encourages students to want to succeed in challenging activities and courses.

Students love being involved in different types of after school activities, including clubs and sports. Students are trying their very best to succeed in classes, go to school events, volunteer, join clubs, and be part of a school team; all while attempting to balance a social life and their well being. 

“My main cause of sleep deprivation is band and homework. I get tired and almost fall asleep during my classes throughout the day,” freshman Karishma Advani said.

Often, students enjoy going out with their friends or even just relaxing by watching television or exercising. All of which take time away from completing at-home assignments. Students are eager to spend time at different places with their friends, and this often leads to them staying awake later. 

Social media also plays an extremely large part in student’s sleep deprivation. Students enjoy keeping up with the latest trends, whether it is on Instagram, Twitter, or even Tik Tok; this leads to them spending large amounts of their time, they should be doing homework, on the app. 

“My main cause of sleep deprivation is color guard because when I get home, I have to eat and finish anything for the next day and then I also want to relax,” sophomore Asha Advani said.

All of these after school commitments cause students to arrive home later than expected, usually between 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. This is due to the fact that many school activities run two to three hours after the last period bell rings, and some do not begin until hours later. For instance, the color guard program at Marjory Stoneman Douglas has rehearsal from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm during the week. Students then need to shower, eat dinner and complete all of their school assignments before school the next day. This constant flow of homework can quickly add up to hours of unnecessary stress before students come close to  finishing everything they need to accomplish. 

According to SleepFoundation.org, typically teenagers should sleep for a total of eight to ten hours each night, to be able to function to the best of their ability. In this current decade, students are now getting an average of five to six hours of sleep per night, a number much lower than what doctors recommend.

“I normally get five to six hours on school nights and around eight to nine during [the] weekend,” sophomore Landon Reuter said. 

Sleep deprivation comes with many consequences, such as injuries, bad behavior, moodiness and the inability to self regulate. For instance, many students drive themselves and others to school; but if they are sleep deprived, they put themselves, their passengers and everyone on the road at risk. 

“It makes it harder to focus on what I’m doing, sometimes I zone out and just don’t realize simple things, like when the light turns green,” senior Madison Sheib said. 

With the overload of work distributed to high school students from classes, students have become accustomed to sleep deprivation. School related assignments and events are taking over student’s lives and it is beginning to have negative impacts on themselves and others surrounding them. Most students are sleep deprived whether they are involved in any after school activities or are simply just, focus on their school work. 

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Delaney Walker is a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She is an editor for the Eagle Eye. Delaney is also a member of the MSD color guard.

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