NightTime Routine: The Key to a Successful Student

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 12/12/2018 - 14:35 - 0 Comments
Experts say that at least half of all American teenagers are sleep deprived. That is half of the classroom not performing at their best. Half of us struggling to stay awake in class. Half of us less happy than we could be if we were able to get ample sleep.
 
According to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, high school students need an average of nine and a half hours of sleep per night. Asking students around Lincoln, the average seemed to be around seven. There are a multitude of reasons and excuses for the average teen to struggle at bedtime, but there are also many ways to improve this. We can control how much sleep we get, even if it does not always seem like it.

 

One of the biggest stresses on our brains at nighttime is the constant exposure to blue light from the screens that we are so addicted to.

 
This blue light stimulates our brains and suppresses melatonin levels (melatonin is the chemical our brain releases to fall asleep). Putting away screens is hard. It takes willpower. But forcing yourself to try it for just one night may mean the difference between acing that test the next day, and barely being able to stay awake.
 
Most phones have a nighttime setting that turns blue tones into warmer ones, putting less stress and stimulation on the brain. Aside from this, there are a number of apps that allow you to track sleep, encouraging you to make changes and stick to goals as your progress is recorded. Some free app recommendations are Sleep Cycle, Sleep++, Pillow, Relax Melodies, and Headspace.
 
Another main cause of sleep deprivation is over-packed student schedules. On top of homework, most students have 2-3 hours each day of extracurriculars outside of school such as sports, volunteering, work, or a combination of the three. There really is not a way to get around this, and because of that, efficiency outside of these activities is key for getting sleep. Staying on task, being organized, and knowing your obligations once you get home are three things that can help maximize your time.
 
Developing a nighttime routine that you stick to every night could mean huge benefits, in and out of the classroom. You can teach your brain when it is time to shut down, and studies have shown that a structured routine is the best way to do this. Being consistent and diligent with a routine will allow you to fall asleep faster, experience better sleep quality and stay asleep for longer.
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