By Grayson Zoller
Students need sleep. There’s no question about that. But how much sleep are the students of Delta High School getting, and how does that compare to how much they should be getting? We polled 109 students, and here’s what Eagle’s Eye magazine found.
Sixty-six percent of students said that they would like to get more sleep than they currently get, with only 30 percent reporting that they were happy with their amount of sleep. The remaining four percent said they wanted less sleep than they currently get.
Child development teacher Mrs. Mackenzie Dye Conley wasn’t surprised by the data, stating that it matches closely with what she has observed from asking her class. She said that it’s recommended that teenagers get eight or more hours of sleep a night, which was the least common amount of sleep students reported getting.
But why is that ideal number what it is? It has to do with how your body sleeps at night.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC,) you start out in what is called Stage 1 sleep. This is the initial change from awake to sleeping, noted by a slowing of your heartbeat and breathing, with your muscles relaxing and your brainwaves beginning to slow.
Stage 2 sleep is the longest period of sleep that the body is in. It is a period of light sleep before entering a deeper sleep. The effects of Stage 1 sleep become more prominent during this stage, along with eye movement slowing and your temperature dropping.
Stage 3 is the first stage of deep sleep. This is a critical stage to reach at night, because if you reach this stage, you’ll be able to wake up refreshed in the morning.
After about 90 minutes of sleep, you enter what is called REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Heart rate, brainwaves, and breathing all increase rapidly. Your eyes begin to move back and forth quickly. Your arms and legs become temporarily paralyzed. This is the stage of sleep where most dreams occur.
But what can you do to make sure you get a good amount of sleep every night?
Junior Alyssa Barton says some things that prevent her from getting enough sleep are her job and her homework, which can keep her up later than she’d like.
Junior Luke Williams says that he uses medication to make sure that he gets to bed on time, and that he feels he gets a good balance of free time and sleep every night.
Health teacher Mr. Jacob Van Pelt suggests you have a routine for when you get home from school. This can help maximize the amount of sleep you get.
The schedule he recommends is that you take around 15 minutes to have a snack when you get home, and then immediately start working on your homework. If you don’t do this, he says, people have a tendency to get distracted and start their work significantly later in the night, which contributes to a lack of sleep.
While getting the recommended minimum of eight hours of sleep a night might seem hard, the rewards for getting it are extremely useful. More energy throughout the day can help with your grades and performance in school and sports.