High school teenagers are notorious for staying up late at night staring into the pages of homework or awakened by the bluish glow of phones and video games.For some students, the lack of sleep is a choice, putting social time before needed rest,keeps them up into the early hours of the morning, expecting to take a nap during a boring lecture during the school day. For other students, such as Marissa Vargas, sleep is not a privilege, for numerous extra curricular activities and attempts to get ahead in advanced classes prevent the healthy average of 9 hours of sleep from being met.
“I’m in Orchestra, class battalion, student council, interact club, and two AP and pre-AP classes,which takes 5-6 hours after school,” Vargas,10, said. “ I usually go to sleep after midnight and wake up around 6:30. There are just not enough hours in the day.”
The lack of sleep as a teenager can lead to detrimental effects such as depression, anger, and poor school performance in the present and future when continuing an unhealthy sleep cycle.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, two thirds of all high school students are getting less than 7 hours of sleep, two hours less than recommended, and students who are in more activities and advanced classes suffer the most from sleep deprivation.
“I am in volleyball and I have a job, so I’m up at 11:30 doing homework,” Cynthia Gonzales,10, said. “It makes me really tired and not care about school.”
Though dedicated students sacrifice rest for self betterment, homework and extra activities are not the only things preventing students from getting sleep. While involved students would give anything to get a full nights sleep on a school night,others choose to stay awake through all hours of the morning due to a common distraction; technology.
Ryan Salinas, 10, does not have any Pre-AP classes or homework and returns home straight after school to “play X-box and sleep all day when [he] gets home.”
Another student who enjoys the same after school pastime as Salinas, Derek Hernandez, 9, goes to sleep at an average of 4:00 a.m. and claims it is “lots of sleepy time.” Waking up at 7:45 a.m. and getting about 3 hours of sleep, Hernandez does not see the problem in depriving himself of rest and claims he “sleeps in class so [he] is not tired.”
School seems, to some, an obstacle for a chance to play video games and skateboard, but determined night owls will do what it takes to get the 10 hours of technology socialization into a 24 hour day even if it means slacking in school. But, for the over achieving students, the lack of sleep seems to be rising as the years go on and educational opportunities become more competitive for students who want a top ranked college for a post grade school education.
“I’m trying to do as much as I can to get into a good college, so hopefully the lack of sleep will be worth it,” Vargas said. “ I just think I just gotta do this all over again the next day.”