• Morgan McGill

It's Past Your Bedtime

As students, we all know the traditional cramming for exams during all-nighters, ready to sacrifice sleep for a decent grade. Despite our grim acceptance of sleepless study sessions, there are serious mental and physical detriments to having an irregular sleep schedule.

Keeping your body in top physical condition is extremely important for teens, and most think that participating in a sport will fix this. However, having your sleep schedule consistently thrown off by erratic studying can severely impact your physical health. Healthline states that getting irregular sleep can cause high blood pressure, weight gain, and risk of diabetes and heart disease later in life. So while it might not be a concern now, these issues are certain to happen if this harmful behavior continues.

Not only does an irregular sleep schedule affect your physical health, it doesn’t even help retaining information; according to senior education journalist and psychology graduate Sharuna Segaren, “if you’re busy cramming and not sleeping, the important information you thought you had memorized basically slips out of your brain, and you’ll have trouble recalling them the next day.”

There are also many studies on the chemical balances in a normal teenager’s brain; Casey Andersen of NeaToday says that “[teens] don’t produce melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone, until later in the night… Starting school later allows adolescents to get more sleep, thus improving student’s physical and mental health, attendance, and academic performance.” Despite this increasingly proven fact, most American high schools start before 8 a.m.

While we likely won’t see an immediate change in the majority of students’ sleep schedules or school start times, there are ways to cope with sporadic sleep patterns. Setting specific times for studying and hobbies is a great way to keep a steady routine. Limiting screentime before going to bed can also help you fall asleep more consistently.

While all students can relate to the crunchtime of exams and final projects, never sacrifice your sleep for a passing grade. Organize your time wisely and stay well-rested, both for you and for the sake of your grades.

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