The Real Teenage Dream: More Sleep

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From Flickr user CJ.
From Flickr user CJ.

Every morning I get woken up around 5:30 or 6:00 a.m. by my dog, Daisy, whining at me to go outside to use the bathroom.  When I come back in, I go upstairs and shower and then pick out my clothes for the day, which can take anywhere from one minute to 20 minutes based on how tired I am.

On a recent morning, I decided to time myself. It was 6:45 a.m. by the time I got downstairs to make coffee. I make coffee for my family most days, since I am usually the first person awake. Without coffee I would not be able to succeed in school. One cup will last me for about two hours, two cups can get me to the end of the day, and three cups will keep me happy.

By 7:45 a.m., I’m filling up my thermos. Now I’m ready to leave the house.

I have about four to five hours of homework a day, which generally leaves me five to six hours of sleep per night. It is nowhere close to enough. I wake up almost every morning dead tired, dreading going to school. A lot of my friends struggle with sleep, too, and my 16-year-old buddy Cody Sim is no exception

“You know I’m still tired, and I come to school,” he said. “And I sit in AP Comparative Government, and I listen to Mr. James talk for 95 minutes, and that doesn’t help me wake up any more.”

Cody falls asleep in class sometimes. And that can be a real problem when he misses things, such as the difference between a British and American democracy in Comparative Government.

“I can definitely say that I sleep in that class because of my lack of sleep the night before,” Cody said.

Another friend of mine 16-year-old Julia Panian gets about seven hours of sleep per night. She’s doing better than most people I know, but it still isn’t enough. When I asked her about her homework, she told me she has about three and half hours a night. She says that it’s an excessive amount. She also wants to watch TV afterwards. Sometimes, it keeps her up late.

“I want to have time for both fun and academics,” she said. “And that ends up taking away time from sleep.”

I know what Julia is talking about. Sometimes I look up from my phone after binge-watching the TV show “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” to see that it’s midnight. I go to a tough school, but I also want to be a teenager sometimes, and it can be difficult to balance those things. Which means, a lot of times, I’m really tired.

But on the bright side, at least I have coffee.

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