Like most high schoolers, I walk into school already tired. I greet my friends with the normal “hey how are you?” “tired,” “same,” and go with them for a caffeine run on our AUT. I hate being tired all the time, and instead of giving up a class or extracurriculars–because I know I would only use that time to procrastinate–I decided to fix my sleep schedule.
My sleep schedule consisted of at least seven hours of sleep a night, which seemed to work for most people, so I wasn’t sure where to start. Then, while scrolling through Google, which can be a risky bet, I read that the adult sleep cycle is on average 90 minutes, so waking up in the middle of a cycle can make you feel groggy from the moment you get out of bed.
I started setting my alarm for seven and a half hours from when I fall asleep and told myself I can’t use the snooze button–I used to set my alarm 20 minutes early just to press snooze three times). Most days I wake up feeling more alert than I used to, and even on weekends I fall asleep and wake up naturally on the schedule I set up for school.
For the students only getting three hours of sleep–at least that’s a multiple of 90–you can’t function properly for the other 21 hours of the day. Luckily, naps are scientifically proven to have the same benefits as long as they are an hour and a half. Studies show people have improved memory and alertness after a midday nap. I petition for school nap times–we already changed the start times for high school because of sleep studies.
Of course, sleeping in a normal pattern didn’t fix all problems. I still have chronic senioritis and maybe am committed to too many things at once, but at least I feel like I actually slept and can focus easier in class. Getting a proper amount of sleep has helped me feel a little better about moving through the day.