You snooze you lose

Lexi Leisure, Features editor

     It’s that annoying sound again.The alarm clock goes off to signal the start of your day, but you’re not quite ready to escape the comfy mattress beneath you and peel off the pile of blankets atop of yourself. In your head you’re doing calculations and then come to the agreement with yourself that you can afford a few extra minutes of sleep. You reach over, while your eyelids are practically closing by themselves, and hit the button that will end the headache caused by the alarm. Snooze. In about 5 minutes or so, you’ll hear the same noise, and the internal battle will begin again until you finally decide to get up.

     Why is it a struggle to drag ourselves out of bed at the set time? Surely you slept long enough, right? Around what time did you go to bed last night? According to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus Ohio, teenagers get around 7 hours of sleep, and most will not fall asleep until after 11 PM. Some teenagers may even tell you that they didn’t sleep in a given night. Why is that? Most excuses seem to be about homework and how students are grinding out essays or studying for math tests into the early hours of the morning. This shouldn’t be the “norm”, and it isn’t healthy.

    Working backwards, you have to ask yourself why teens are staying up so late. Almost everyone will agree that life gets busy and sometimes our schedules simply don’t allow time for certain things we need to achieve. Time management isn’t everyone’s expertise, and it can be hard to juggle several different things at once. Now you maybe thinking, “Why can’t teenagers cut back?” The answer is simple. Today teens are expected to be well rounded. We are reminded that colleges don’t just look at academics, extracurricular activities are also expected.

    Jobs, sports, music, clubs, and school all demand focus and commitment. We can only devote so much time into one thing before beginning to think about the next. Deadlines come up and we have to decide what our priorities are. Sleep is not one of them. When your plate is full, you try to think about things you can cut back on, almost like a diet.

     However we can’t just take sleep out of the picture altogether. The effects aren’t pretty. We tend to be moody and have problems with our cognitive abilities. We may have studied all night for that math test, but when the time comes to take the test, you can’t focus properly.

    We can’t solve this problem overnight (no pun intended) but there are some solutions that can help. For starters, remember to take time to care of yourself. Know your own limit, and make sure you don’t push yourself beyond what your mind and body can handle. Sleep is what helps you continue on and endure the next day, and without it, your body struggles to function. Try finding a schedule that works for you and all your activities in your typical day. There may be things that have to be put on hold. The moral of the story is figuring out the best way to manage your time to benefit yourself.

  Beep. Beep. Beep. It’s 6:15 and your alarm is going off. Are you going to hit the snooze button?