Healthy sleeping habits prove crucial to successful lifestyle


graphic by Jocelyn Wang

Elisa Moraes-Liu, News Editor

Written by Elisa Moraes-Liu

My parents have always tried and failed to enforce strict bedtimes for me. Their strategies have ranged from confiscation of electronic devices to internet removal at 11 p.m. However, these tactics have not always been successful. As I write this, it is almost 12 a.m., and I was supposed to be asleep at 10 p.m.

Sleeping at appropriate times has always been a struggle for me. Even though I am constantly exhausted throughout the day, barely able to pry my eyes open for my 8:25 a.m. class periods, I still struggle to sleep early.

Staying up late is a terrible habit that many of us high schoolers are guilty of. Whether it’s cramming for your biology test in the morning or binge-watching “Gossip Girl” and ignoring the clock as it ticks closer and closer to 4 a.m., we’ve all been there.

Sleep is essential for your body to function. Staying up late can have extremely negative effects on your physical and emotional health. We often hear peers bragging about how little sleep they got. However, constant lack of sleep is no laughing matter. In fact, this toxic behavior can have dire consequences on our health, such as early death.

As someone who always stays up late, I understand that it can be tempting to delay sleeping. With a seemingly endless amount of schoolwork given to us daily, the late hours of the night can be the only time for us to relax and catch up on the latest episode of “Grey’s Anatomy.” However, it’s important to remember that no matter how fun it seems in the moment, the consequences will find you next morning when the alarm clock goes off after your second hour of sleep. Waking up early in the morning has always been difficult for me, and this has only been exacerbated by my terrible sleeping habits.

While many high schoolers, myself included, supplement their lack of sleep with naps throughout the day, this is not a stable alternative. Taking naps can make it even harder to sleep earlier at night, creating a cycle that is difficult to break. We should be going to sleep at night, not at 5 p.m. Naps such as these can hinder productivity at proper hours. You miss valuable time that could be used for completing homework and studying. While this time can be made up during the night, this behavior will only encourage bad sleeping habits and destabilize your sleeping schedule. Others turn to even more unhealthy alternatives, such as chugging coffee throughout the day. This can be even worse for your health, as you become reliant on caffeine to function.

Instead of finding alternatives to sleep, we should focus on looking for ways to make sure we are sleeping at the proper times in order to allow us to have a healthy amount of sleep every day. Sleep should not be something we substitute with a triple shot espresso from Starbucks. It should be something we prioritize in our lives.

As much as we like to ignore the advice our parents and teachers give us, sleep is necessary for a healthy lifestyle. It’s important to ensure that we have healthy habits, especially in a time such as high school when we are preparing ourselves for college and the outside world. While it can be fun to binge watch into the late hours of the night, it is important to not jeopardize your health.

Once we go to college, we won’t have our parents to enforce our bedtimes or ensure that we are up in the morning. That is why it’s important to create and build healthy habits in high school that we can carry through for the rest of our lives. Having set sleeping hours allows our bodies to adjust to earlier times, and makes it easier for us to wake up early in the morning.

Sleeping late and pulling all nighters are practices that are glossed over in high school, often seen as normal things to do. However, this should change. Students, including myself, should work on sleeping early and creating healthy habits in order to have healthier and more successful lives. Instead of shrugging off the advice we get about the importance of sleeping, we should learn to embrace it.