How I Get Enough Sleep: A Student's Perspective

Kristen Huggins ’22 discusses how and why her family encourages her to get adequate sleep. 

By Kristen Huggins
Class of 2022

Getting sleep is important. If you have been to Best Buy, you have probably seen machines that help you go to sleep, Fitbits or Apple watches that track your sleep, and much more. We have all heard that 8 hours a night allows us to operate at our maximum levels. All that being said, it is a big challenge to actually get 8 hours (teens really need 9) of sleep each night.

My parents are devoted to making their children get sufficient sleep and it used to annoy me. However, I attended the Challenge Success Conference in Boston and went to a sleep seminar. During this seminar, I learned the significance of sleep, the consequences of not getting enough of it, and why teens do not get as much sleep as they should. The National Sleep Foundation claims that one of their studies found that only 15% of teens get 8.5 hours of sleep on school nights. According to the presenters, not getting enough sleep can lead to a lack of focus and limits teens’ abilities to learn. Also, it leads to impatience and aggressive behavior. This can contribute to illness as well as driving drowsy. These consequences can be deadly so please help your children out and reassure them that sleep makes a big difference.

From a student’s perspective, sleep is imperative to my health, mental well-being, academics, and extracurriculars. I try to achieve my goal of 8 hours of sleep each night. But due to homework and sports, I cannot achieve this goal every single night. To try and get my homework done and go to bed at a good time each night, I take advantage of every free moment I have to either check my email, do simple things that I need to check off of my list, or read. Doing this really helps my workload when I get home from practice at 7 p.m. I like to be done with all of my work at 9 p.m. but it really depends on the day. I spend time with friends during the day, too. But if I have a lot of work, I have to go to a quiet space and start my tasks.

I strongly encourage you all to emphasize the importance of sleep to your children. Your kids will thank you for it later. Getting a solid amount of sleep helps with behavior, concentration, and well-being. If you stress the idea of getting 8 hours a night, your children will learn to be responsible for their work, have better attitudes, and have better mental and physical health.