In between cheerleading practice, work, yearbook, broadcasting, writing, and doing homework, sleep is something I have to sacrifice. However, I’m not the only one.
With more involvement in extra curricular activities and loads of homework, most teenagers get about 5-6 hours of sleep as opposed to the healthy 8 hours needed.
“I lose like 15 hours of sleep a week due to school.” student Jordan Mordecai said. “I get headaches and I’m so exhausted after school that I have to take a nap and study at night.”
It seems that most teens live a nocturnal life, but why are we so intent on staying up?
“I stay up for school because as work gets harder I want my grades to constantly stay good.” Amanda Bulot said. “That means that I have to work harder and harder to keep them up where they are.”
“Its worth it to stay up late to an extent,” McKinney High Saludatorian Jennifer Zotz said. “Especially if it’s for a project. But if I’m studying for a test and get no sleep I won't do as well. Chances are anything I try to cram in the night before I won’t remember anyways.”
There is so much more competition to get into big schools, so it seems like keeping your grades up in high school will increase your chances of getting into the school of your choice. But staying up that late requires some intense motivation.
“I could never go into a test not knowing the material," Mordecai said. "And I could never go to school without doing my homework because I need to make all A’s, so my incentive is to get A’s."
Staying up late requires determination and skill, so many students use different tricks for staying up late.
“I usually have on something really loud like music," Bulot said. "And I have to make sure I don’t get too comfortable.”
“I always drink hot tea because it calms me down and allows me to stay up late," Mordecai said.” If I know it’s going to be a long night, I buy a 5 hour energy drink. I also ice my head because it reduces my headaches and the cold helps keep me awake.”
“I try to move around a lot when I’m studying late," Zotz said "It’s so I don’t fall asleep where I’m sitting and I usually have music playing that won’t put me to sleep.”
Another great incentive to stay up late is friends. I have discovered that finding a study partner helps keep you motivated and awake. For example, before we begin studying for the night, my friend Hannah and I have a tradition that we get energy drinks and Taco Bueno before anything school work gets done. Doing homework with someone else is more fun, and can actually help you retain more information because you’re not just reading out of a textbook becoming delusional at 3 a.m. forcing yourself to stay alert.
Teen Talk columnist Christine Baker is a senior at McKinney High School.