By Ashley Hazan
Americans are finally getting more sleep! After getting the chance to speak to a variety of high school students, The Harbour Voice discovered why students need more sleep.
“When I get more sleep, I am definitely more productive and have an easier time paying attention,” ninth grader Rachel DiCarali said.
According to data taken in 2003 from the University of Pennsylvania, Americans are getting eighteen more minutes of sleep per night. Dr. Basner, a professor of psychiatric and sleep chronobiology at the university, found that Americans gained about 1.4 minutes of sleep per weeknight each year between 2003 and 2016.
While statistics show that people are managing to add in a few extra minutes to their sleep, many still feel more sleep is needed. Reilly Iles, a junior, states, “I think school should start later so students can have a decent night of sleep. Between late night practices and hours of homework and studying, it’s hard to get more than six hours of sleep a night.”
Rachel Dicarli said, “If school started later, my grades would drastically improve because I’d be able to focus more.”
According to statistics, people have also begun to sleep more on weekends. Although the improvement was not significant, Americans gained a total of eleven minutes of sleep when calculated throughout an entire year. People were able to gain extra hours largely by heading to bed sooner and, to a lesser degree, by waking up later, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found. While Americans added about 30 seconds of television watching to their weekday routine each year, they were doing less of it in the hours before bed, freeing themselves to go to sleep a bit earlier, the researchers found. That finding aligns with data from Neilsen, a television research firm, which suggests that Americans are taking more control over how they view broadcasts and movies.
“I mean sure, I would appreciate a few more hours of sleep, but the life of a high schooler is simply too busy for that. I need time to relax and to watch my shows. I think with school starting at the current time, it’s perfect for balancing sports, academics, and relaxation,” says 12th grader Sahill Yadav.
Sleep has a dramatic effect on everyone. Yet, as high schoolers, many students deem it impossible to find that perfect balance between enough sleep and too little. With recent research released to the public, we, as busy, multitasking high school students, are still hoping to find new tips and tricks to obtain a better and longer night’s sleep.