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High school students struggle with sleep schedule

By Nela Sedlarova

As a high school student who also maintains a job right after school I find it difficult to get the recommended amount of sleep. A lot of high schoolers in America have after-school jobs and then don’t get enough sleep for the next day.

 A typical day for me involves me waking up at 5:25 am and then going to school from 7:35 to 2:30. After that I go to my job where my shift starts at 3 pm and ends at 9 pm but I normally actually leave the building around 9:10 pm. I then have to get ready for bed which takes me up until 10:00 to 10:30 and let’s not forget about homework.

 Although that’s just my job I wanted to ask some of my classmates from my school to see how much sleep they get. I asked Kenzie Wagenknecht how many hours of sleep she gets. 

“Weekdays 8 hours and weekends 9-10 hours,” Wagenknecht said. 

She also added how she takes over the counter sleeping medication. Sleeping pills are commonly known as melatonin and it’s very common in the US to be used. 

“Various synthetic melatonin preparations are widely available over the counter (OTC) in the United States with sales increasing from $285 million in 2016 to $821 million in 2020 (3),” according to the CDC. 

I may take melatonin occasionally but I’ve found it to wake me up at 3 am lately which also affects my sleep schedule. 

“I have a job that can end late sometimes,” said Payton O’Neal. 

When I asked if she went on her phone before bed she said “yes a lot!” Many high school students know that the use of electronics before sleep can and most likely will keep them awake for long periods of time. The light that shines from their phone may seem like it doesn’t keep them awake but it does and will. 

“Their content can be psychologically stimulating and the light they emit can affect the body’s natural timing and alertness.” according to TIME magazine.

Sleeping is very important for teenagers. We wake up early for school and spend our nights staring at our phones or tv. Even having a job where you leave at the time you would be sleeping already on a different day. Some tips that have been known to help people sleep are taking sleeping pills such as melatonin, listening to rain or even music, and setting your bedroom at a colder or warmer  temperature can help. Having no lights in your room helps drastically, too. Some people may not like this part but by keeping your phone in a separate room sleep can improve.  Lots of people use the excuse of needing their phone for alarm, but there are still alarm alternatives such as clocks or nowadays an amazon Alexa device. 

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