One of the greatest feelings in the world is falling into your bed after a long, stressful day.
Cocooning yourself under the covers of a warm quilt and burrowing your head into the fluffy confines of a pillow is a perfect stress reliever. Sleep is essential to happiness. However, there are some students who fail to get the recommended eight hours a night, kept awake by mountains of homework and hours of studying. These students sacrifice relaxation and good health to commit to their studies.
Casa Grande High School student Anita Chen, one of these dedicated students, said that during the school year, she regularly gets three to four hours of sleep a night.
“There hasn’t been a day where I have gone to bed before 12 a.m.,” Chen said.
Homework is a burden, a necessary one, admittedly, but a severe occupation of time nonetheless. For Chen, however, balancing her time and resisting the urge to procrastinate is more of a problem than doing the actual homework.
“Homework usually only takes me about 30 to 45 minutes to complete. I just start doing it late,” Chen said. “I have really bad time management when it comes to homework; I’m too tired to work so I procrastinate.”
Throughout the school day, the effects of Chen’s lack of sleep are evident in her behavior. It’s not an unusual occurrence for her to fall asleep or nod off during class.
“Often when I sleep better at night and stay awake during class, I retain much more information and do better on work,” Chen said. “In math, I most notice the effects of my lack of sleep.”
Sleep deprivation is a chain. The absence of sleep at night naturally guarantees another sleepless night the next day, and all the days following.
“I normally don’t start homework until 3 a.m. because I’m too tired during the day,” Chen said. “But then I’m tired during the day because I do homework so late.”
Although many people find it difficult to stay up until early in the morning, Chen has adapted to this habit.
“Staying up late has become routine for me, so I am naturally motivated to do it,” she said.
Casa Grande student Johnny Po, a friend of Chen’s, has observed her less than ideal sleeping habits for two or three years.
“She sleeps too little at night and complains during the day,” Po said. “I notice her slurring her speech and passing out on desks during lunch. I think that if she continues these habits, she’s going to get sick.”
Although Chen is accustomed to a lack of sleep and it has become such a natural habit for her, she does express dissatisfaction at the amount of sleep she gets.
“Of course, I want more sleep,” she said. “I just don’t think I would know how to make myself get more sleep.”