Sleep Deprivation: Widespread at HHS

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By Jillian Sullivan

The NSF 2006 Sleep in America poll revealed that despite the recommended nine hours of sleep, 73% of teenagers who report feeling unhappy, sad, or depressed are not getting enough sleep. With the pressure to maintain good grades and be involved in the community, this number is rising and is a concern for students at Hopkinton High School.

HHS student Kate Welzel finds she has more work than she can handle most nights before she goes to sleep. Photo by Jillian Sullivan
HHS student Kate Welzel finds she has more work than she can handle most nights before she goes to sleep. Photo by Jillian Sullivan

Junior Kate Welzel has a lot to balance and little spare time. “Sports and clubs delay when I can get homework done, which results in me finishing or the occasional giving up on it all at a late hour”, she admits. “I have to balance sports, dance, family, work, and friends. I don’t think I have enough time. I feel like more and more work isn’t getting done because of the amount of time I need for other obligations.”

“I don’t get home from football practice until after six o’clock, and even then, I still have to spend an hour eating and showering before I can start to work on all the homework I got during the school day”, says senior Chris Liberta, captain of the football team.

Senior Rachel Calkins says “During the Fall and Spring, I have a two hour practice or game six days of the week. I have to start my homework as soon as I come home from my practice or game to make sure I’ll finish in time. As a senior, I now have to balance all of my college applications as well. I have broken them up based on due dates, but in the end college applications are another thing to add to list of things to do.”

Welzel adds, “I never have the capability to get out of bed with my first alarm, and even on the weekends, I either have practice or work in the morning which keeps me from sleeping in.”

Amanda Madany, senior and officer of Community Service Club and Peer Leaders, reports that “On a normal weekday I am unable to go home right after school and when I do get home I have a lot of homework. College applications are also taking up a lot of my time, which adds a lot of pressure.”

Rachel Calkins, senior at HHS  finds difficulty in applying to college while maintaining her grades. Photo by Jillian Sullivan.
Rachel Calkins, senior at HHS finds difficulty in applying to college while maintaining her grades. Photo by Jillian Sullivan.

When explaining her night routine Calkins admits, “I am a night person, so I tend to stay up later than I should on week nights. I like to study right before I go to sleep to give myself time to process everything I’ll need to remember for the next day. With that being said, I tend to get around seven hours of sleep on those days. On the weekends, I always sleep in as late as possible. I still go to bed late on those nights, but in the end I usually get ten to eleven hours of sleep on those days.”

Madany is aware of the suggested nine hours of sleep for teenagers, but admits, “When I wake up for school in the morning I feel extremely tired. I usually go to bed around midnight, so I’m only getting around six hours of sleep every school night.”

 

Students at Hopkinton High School feel pressure coming from all different directions in their lives. This pressure goes beyond procrastinating, and a method to relieve stress needs to be reached before students become a part of the 73% that already face the side effects that come with losing sleep- something that is impossible to catch up on.

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