With American High School becoming more competitive, students sacrifice their sleep over their own grades. Students also summarize why they stay up past 12 AM and how it affects them in their classes.
Students discuss how school affects their sleeping habits
You wake up from your hour long nap after school and start up your computer to see what assignments you have on Schoolloop. A flash of heat passes through your face when you realize you procrastinated all week on that English project worth 10% of your grade, and on top of that you still have to finish your APUSH notes!
We’ve all been there―forgetting how much homework we have and saving it for a dreaded Thursday night. In this case, your smartest option is to stay up all night and finish everything. For some students, this is a terrible nightmare, and for others this is just an regular Thursday night.
The recommended amount of sleep for teens in high school is twelve hours, but to be honest, that’s extremely unrealistic. Students here either have too much homework or just can not fall asleep to even meet the minimum of eight hours.
“I start homework really late so I stay up past 12 pretty much every day,” Ken Williams (11) said. “I end up taking naps after I come home so I start homework late again, and it gets harder to concentrate later on in the school day.”
With the number of students taking AP classes constantly rising each year, many are going to the extremes to complete their work and achieve better grades.
“I once used a Five Hour Energy after pulling an all nighter,” Abhay Aggarwal (11) said. “It was definitely worth it because I was able to sleep once I got home and if I had not done the work I would have had issues with my grades in multiple classes.”
Is staying up late really beneficial to students or is it hurting them more than actually helping them? I mean do you really like being bugged by your Spanish teacher every time you lay your head down to rest your eyes for a few minutes?
“I used to take all nighters practically every Thursday in first semester,” Williams said. “and one time I nodded off during a test the next day and I bubbled in a wrong answer.”
However, some students may ask themselves time and time again, if the sleep they lose is even worth it.
“I think staying up is worth studying for a test, because it’s something you’re only going to have one chance to do,” Shreyas Anil (11) explained. “You can always catch up on your sleep later.”
But why do students start their homework so late? Some teachers might say it is the student’s own fault for procrastinating and not allocating their time properly.
“I stay up late because I waste time sometimes and other times it’s because I feel that spending more time will make me better prepared,” Vibha Sharma (11) said. “I also think my grades are worth way more than a couple of hours of sleep once in awhile.”
Once you’ve slightly altered your sleeping schedule to get some extra work in, there is no turning back. Once you get home you become extremely tired and tell yourself, “Oh, let me just lay in bed for a couple of minutes to rest and then I’ll start my homework!” Then when you wake up, you check your phone and it’s 7 AM.
“I slept very late one night and the next day when I got home from school I took a nap,” Ryan Hayame (11) said. “But I was so tired I slept through my alarm and didn’t wake up until 7 A.M. the next morning. So I got no homework done.”
Some students shared their most entertaining stories from sleeping in a class because of their lack of sleep.
“One time in Spanish class I fell asleep when we were watching a movie,” Aggarwal said. “I basically managed to slump onto my backpack on the floor and did not wake up until the end of the period. I didn’t even realize I was on the floor.”
In a school where everyone is racing to get to the best university first, students tend to disregard what, in the long run, is more important: our sleep
“I think it’s really easy to mess up your sleeping schedule when you have AP classes,” Genisis Orilla (11) said. “I believe getting better grades are more important than how I feel during class. We live in an education system where grades basically define us, so everyone will do anything to surpass their competition.”