Busy schedules, insomnia affect sleep

by Rosalie Chan, Web Editor

On average, most students receive six to eight hours of sleep a night, even though they actually need nine to ten hours of sleep.
Patricia Baima, psychology teacher, suggested that better time management can help students get more sleep.
“When you sleep, you form new memories,” Ms. Baima said.  “If you’re not sleeping, you’re not getting stuff stored in your long term memory.”
Homework, activities, work, insomnia, technology and other factors can keep students from getting enough sleep and cause them to lose energy during the day.

Sports and Homework
Because of sports and homework, Kristen Lee, junior, usually receives four hours of sleep.  During the fall season, she participates in tennis, and in the spring, she participates in badminton.
According to Lee, she gets this much sleep throughout the entire year.  She sleeps in on Sundays, but she has sports competitions on Saturdays.
Despite her lack of sleep, she believes she manages her time well
“I just get more tired during the day–lack of energy,” Lee said.  “I partly fall asleep (in class sometimes). I can kind of listen at the same time.”

Nicole Zelek, freshman, receives seven hours of sleep a night, partly because of homework, but mostly because she has insomnia, a sleep disorder that causes people to have trouble falling or staying asleep.  She has trouble falling asleep, so she currently takes medication to help her.
“Sometimes I’m scared to sleep because of nightmares and things like that,” Zelek said.  “I can’t get up early.  It slows down my reflexes and everything I do.  It puts me in a bad mood, too.”
Zelek started having insomnia in eighth grade.  However, she said it has improved.  Before, she would have two hours of sleep, and now she has seven hours of sleep.
“I have trouble falling asleep.  When I fall asleep, it’s the best feeling ever, but I can stay asleep,” Zelek said.
Zelek has chronic, or ongoing, insomnia, but many people can occasionally have acute, or short-term, insomnia.
“Most people will have this (acute insomnia). It’s very common when you have a stressful week,” Ms. Baima said.

Taking Care of Family
Brenda De Ita, senior, receives an average of six hours of sleep because she has to take care of her siblings and do homework.
“I have brothers.  When my mom gets home late, I give them food and something to eat,” De Ita said.  “I start homework at 7, and I have two AP classes.”
De Ita has two brothers and a sister.  Her brothers get home at 3:30 p.m., and her mother gets home at 6 p.m. and picks up her sister.
For AP classes, De Ita currently takes AP Calculus and Psychology.  According to De Ita, lack of sleep sometimes affects her at school.
“In class I start falling asleep, and I get tired,” De Ita said.  “I try to finish my homework.  I have two study halls to do it, too.  During weekends, I go to sleep late, but I wake up late.”