UAIS Students and Sleep

UAIS Students and Sleep

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Maddie Shippy, Author

Here at UAIS, sleep and the IB Program don’t necessarily get along very well. The demanding workload IB places onto our students can cause a lack of sleep.

In order to portray UAIS as a whole, one must also consider the grades leading up to the IB years, freshman and sophomore year. When asked if she felt tired throughout the school day, sophomore Huda Rao responded, “I regularly feel tired.”  As of now, Huda receives roughly 6 hours of sleep per night, and according to the Sleep and UAIS Survey, 1/4th of UAIS students receive 6 hours of sleep as well.

One freshman student, Jack Palus, claims that he begins to wake up during the school day around lunch time.  Jack and his underclassman counterpart Huda both reported to feel tired throughout the day.

However, when asked if the fatigue causes a decrease in performance inside and outside of school, they both claimed that their performances weren’t remarkably affected by their average night of sleep.

But once students in the IB program were taken into consideration, there was a change in the responses. According to junior Rory Prisbe, she doesn’t feel like she performs well enough in school, and that 6-7 hours of sleep aren’t enough for effective productivity.

Along with Rory, senior Lydia Joo reports that she also feels tired throughout the school day and struggles to remain awake throughout some of her classes.

According to Nation Wide Children’s[1], most teenagers need exactly 9.25 hours of sleep. But, here at UAIS only 1.8% of our student body receives 9 or more hours of sleep a night. Ideally, each teenager should aim to receive 8-10 hours of sleep per night[2], while 91% of UAIS students receive less than 8 hours.

However, some students may be able to control their amount of sleep they receive. 37.84% students reported that homework is the main reason they don’t get to go to bed on time. Another 13.96% of students reported that their phone usage also prevents them from going to bed earlier.

Also among UAIS students, over 1 in 10 students reported having a problem with procrastination. If the problem of procrastination was diminished, ideally only 27 out of 100 students would be kept up by homework. There could also be a correlation with students could homework load being too much due to procrastination, causing them to not get at least 8 hours of sleep.

Not only does not getting enough sleep just make you tired, it also causes many subsequent issues. The most common issue is the decreased cognitive function. When you are experiencing a lack of sleep, your alertness, concentration, reasoning and problem solving are all negatively affected. Sleep deprivation also causes many accidents to occur, automobile or job-related, especially in people under the age of 25. [3]

Along with these acute issues sleep deprivation causes, there’s also long-term consequences that may arise. Lack of sleep for a long period of time increases a person’s chances for developing cardiovascular issues, diabetes and also increases one’s chance for having a stroke.[4]

Although these issues that are brought on by sleep deprivation sound very scary, there’s still hope! Limiting screen time at least 2 hours before trying to sleep will help one’s body to produce regular amounts of melatonin[5]-a natural chemical produced to help the body feel tired and go to sleep. 41.89% of UAIS students reported having a problem with falling asleep, and phone usage before bed may play a big role in this issue. Attempting to limit phone usage or any electronics before bed may help one’s ability to fall asleep.

If using electronics before bed isn’t an issue, there are other ways to help improve sleep quality. Try to fall asleep and wake up at consistent times when able to, this consistency will help the body in regulating the internal clock and reduce the inability to fall asleep.[6]

Many UAIS students love to be comfy during their study time, but don’t get too comfy. Using your bed for a place to study confuses your brain. Your bedroom and bed are subconsciously associated with relaxation and sleeping, so if you try to do your homework lying in bed, you are actually confusing your body by not sleeping when you are in bed.

If these techniques don’t prove useful for helping the ability to fall asleep, there are natural sleep aids, such as melatonin, that you can get from a local pharmacy to help you fall asleep. If no methods are able to increase the quality of sleep you receive on a regular basis, you may want to consider seeing your primary care physician, as you may have an underlying sleep disorder.

Overall, the best ways to help increase sleep quality and maximize daily productivity is to limit blue light (technology) exposure at least 2 hours before bed, don’t use your bedroom/bed as a place to study, try to relax your mind before bed, and try to regulate your sleeping schedule. If UAIS students can improve on at least some of these things, their overall quality of work and productivity is predicted to increase which will lead to decreased amounts of stress . . . doesn’t that sound nice?!

 

Sources:

[1] Mindell, JA, and Owens, JA, “Sleep in Adolescents”, Nationwide Children’s, Nationwide Children’s , n.d , https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/specialties/sleep-disorder-center/sleep-in-adolescents, accessed January 10, 2020.

[2] “Teens and Sleep.” National Sleep Foundation, www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/teens-and-sleep, n.d, accessed January 23, 2020.

[3] Peri, Camille. “10 Things to Hate About Sleep Loss”, WebMD, WebMD, 2014, https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/10-results-sleep-loss#2, accessed January 10, 2020.

[4] Ibid

[5] Mawer, Rudy. “17 Proven Tips to Sleep Better at Night.” Healthline, Healthline, 2 Nov. 2018, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/17-tips-to-sleep-better#section6, accessed January 1, 2020.

[6] Ibid