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Rules to Counting Sheep

By Ivy Lin

It’s recommended that all teens have around 9 hours of sleep each night. Given the busy schedules of high school students nowadays, though, that may seem impossible. While homework, extracurriculars, and sports may steal hours of sleep every night, here’s how to make the most out of the precious hours of shut-eye you manage to salvage.

 

1.    Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule

  • Although it may seem difficult given the varying schedules students have each day of the week, it’s important to stick to a consistent sleep schedule. Waking up and sleeping at the same time every day will allow you to feel more refreshed and give you better quality sleep.

 

2.    Nap Smartly

  • Naps are a great way to fuel you throughout the day, especially when you lack sleep from the previous night. However, excessive napping throughout the day can lead to lack of sleep at night, too. If you don’t wish to take away from the quality of your sleep, nap only in the early afternoon and limit the time to below half an hour.

 

3.    Food Consumption

  • Believe it or not, what you consume before bedtime can affect how well you sleep. Try not to go to bed too full or too hungry. Either may cause discomfort and keep you up at night. If hunger strikes late at night, opt for a banana, since bananas are high in both magnesium and potassium, which help to relax the muscles. Avoid drinking caffeine in the afternoon, as it is a stimulant and its effects may last up to 6 hours after consumption.

 

4.    Exercise

  • To get deep sleep, it’s crucial to exercise daily. Given the busy workload of high school students, exercise may seem like the last thing you have time for. However, exercise is important not only to sleep, but also to being physically healthy. Try exercising for at least twenty to thirty minutes each day, but not two to three hours before bed as your body temperature will be high after exercise and inhibit sleep.

It’s understandable why high school students nowadays lack so much in the sleep department. While sleep deprivation is hard to avoid, it’s crucial to recognize the importance of sleep. High schoolers are at an important stage in their life, and it is therefore important for us to make room every night for quality rest.

Picture by Jamain.

 

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