By BROOKE HARTLEY
As many teachers sip on their coffee and begin their carefully constructed lesson plans each day, they often feel a sense of defeat as they watch many of their students slowly close their eyes and lay their heads on the edge of their desks due to a lack of sleep and concentration. It seems as if sleep deprivation is plaguing the student body and faculty alike in the classrooms of Washingtonville High School and something needs to be done to put an end to this horrific affliction.
On average, only eight percent of high school students get enough sleep on any given school night. Other high schoolers get only about 5-6 hours of sleep, probably due to the fact that they are loaded with tremendous amounts of homework, as well as after school activities, and their social lives outside of the classroom. Sleep deprivation is not something that is taken seriously, but it should be, as we constantly catch ourselves complaining about it.
|BROOKE HARTLEY FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY|
Many students work through this issue by opting for early release. Jennifer Shute, a senior at Washingtonville High School is one of these students. She expressed, “If I have early release, I have more time to finish my homework, so when I get home after all of my sports, activities and clubs, I can go to bed when I get tired right away.” Seniors have an advantage being able to leave early, so it’s nice to hear that they are using their time well.
Kael Leonard, a junior from Washingtonville High School, responded, “I get between only 4-5 hours of sleep usually every night. The average day is pretty rough for me because I am usually tired for the first half of the day before lunch. I’m usually so tired because you should be getting between 7-9 hours of sleep per night.” Junior year is one of the most stressful years in high school, especially when students are constantly falling behind in class due to sleeping and a lack of paying attention. In order for students to be able to stay caught up and have full concentration in class, using the skill of time management could overall benefit underclassmen.
Students are not the only ones suffering from this deprivation. Ms. Bancroft, a chemistry teacher at WHS, distinguished, “I am tired in school, but not in the morning. I start getting tired at 1pm. Being tired in school affects the decisions I have to make, how I handle student behaviors, remembering what I have to do, as well as where I place items.”
From freshmen to seniors, and even teachers, people are starting to notice that students and faculty are making a concerted effort in their time management skills to improve their sleeping patterns and schedules. Sleep deprivation can overall effect the mental and even physical aspects of their lives. When asked how she manages to be ready to teach each day, Mrs. Connolly, an English teacher at WHS, replied, “I embarrassingly go to bed at 8:30 every night. It is the only way to survive teaching three different classes each day and then going home to my family. It’s what keeps me sane.”
Sleep deprivation affects us all. As a community, let’s look out for one another’s well being. Encourage friends and family members to put down the phone at night, shut off the TV, close their eyes, and get to sleep!