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Sleep Habits — Where Do Yours Stack Up?
An in-depth look at some of the most extreme sleep schedules of Skutt Catholic
August 31, 2017
According to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, teenagers should get nine hours and 15 minutes of hours of sleep per night.
Pff. Right. Like that’s going to happen.
In general, it seems like most high schoolers fall in the 6-8 hour range, depending on homework load and other obligations. However, there are a number of folks at Skutt Catholic, students and teachers alike, who fall far outside this spectrum in one way or another.
Some of the most startling sleep schedules at our school belong to the insomniacs of Skutt Catholic, one of whom is teacher Brent Goetzinger. The pills he had to take after contracting a disease in Nicaragua caused his insomnia, and he’s lived with it for over four years. He makes use of those extra waking hours, though; “I play board games, play my guitar, read,” he says. “Right now I’m making my son a stage for a puppet show.”
Another SC insomniac is senior Erin Schmidt. “I usually get two hours a night on school nights and four to five during the summer,” she says. “Nothing really helps me to sleep. People tell me to drink more milk or listen to calming music, but that doesn’t really work.”
On the flip side of this issue is junior Matthias Walters, who takes the “you snooze, you lose” approach literally. He chooses to sleep for only a few hours a night in order to get more done. “I sleep 30 minutes to six hours a night; it averages around four hours,” he says. “Sleep is a waste. One can be so productive if given more time,” he continues. “By sleeping less, it’s almost as if I’m increasing my time alive since I’m not sleeping it away.” Matthias even wrote a guest column about his unusual slumber regimen; see article below.
Yet another student with odd, albeit less extreme, sleeping habits is senior Chris King. “Sometimes I can’t fall asleep at all at night. Due to this, I often enjoy taking naps,” he says. “Ironically, I can’t fall asleep easily, but I can take a nap whenever I want to.” Chris says that, on an average night, he gets anywhere between 3-8 hours of sleep; however, on an average 24-hour day, he probably gets between 7-12 hours with the aid of naps.
Amongst this shuteye shortage, some students at Skutt Catholic manage to actually get the amount of rest recommended for teenagers. “I get roughly nine hours of sleep a night,” says freshman Cruz McConnell. “Getting more sleep helps me function better and be more alert during the day,” he continues.
Clearly, students’ average amounts of sleep per night vary immensely – some get two hours, some get ten, some get everything in between. The important thing is to do what’s right for you and your health — and to consider who you’re talking to before complaining about being tired.
Photo by Maria Koliopolous
Why sleep is overrated
Wanna hear a joke?
Yeah, I don’t get it either…
With life being both exciting and ephemeral, it’s disconcerting to hear how highly most people regard sleep. There’s nothing less productive than habitually putting on special garments, lying on a mat, and then pretending to be unconscious until one is.
Think about that. As people, we have many shared idiosyncrasies, but nothing tops the absurdity of man’s superfluous slumber.
From Unconscious to Conscious
My awakening began freshman year. As activities took off, I’d come to terms with homework attempts growing Sisyphean in the time frame I had. How else to solve this other than extending said time frame? Now, as a junior, my waking hours are the only ones that matter.
The Amount of Sleep Needed by the Average Person is Five More Minutes
Of course I need some sleep. The question is, how much? As Newton would say, an object at rest remains so, whereas an object in motion stays in motion. The less sleep I get in a night, the better I feel. If I get upwards of seven hours, I need to peel my lethargic self off my mattress as my blood congeals with caffeine. It’s physics! I believe this is because I take one “rest day” a week. I will sleep about 10-12 hours on a Saturday or Sunday every week. On a normal day with above average sleep, my sleep-deprived mind may be tricked into thinking it’s my rest day, throwing off my circadian rhythm for the whole week.
Sleep Is Death Without the Responsibility
Every now and then, I don’t manage my sleep. Once, I slept merely five hours in a full week. I don’t feel tired necessarily, but I grow addled and capricious. I may obliviously mix up the definitions of words or make invalid arguments which are entirely false to begin with. I recall describing some things as ‘tree.’ I believe ‘tree’ has been used by me to be synonymous with ‘resplendent,’ ‘quaint,’ and ‘virulent’ at different times. While I may function on less sleep, I must be responsible for having enough.
To Sleep or Not To Sleep?
Most of my precious hours past 7:00 are spent reading, texting as I listen to music and watching speeches or debates on YouTube. Half my homework is done before I get home, and I finish the rest the following morning when I wake up. On days I don’t have homework or any events/activities, I certainly don’t sleep! I may pick up Rubik’s Cube, pencil spinning, juggling or some other skill. I’d always rather do something than not. Sleep is the biggest time-waster.
I sleep 16 minutes short of six hours on average. My sleep time ranges from 30 minutes to a little over six hours. See the graph below for more data.
This is an anecdotal account; I do not offer this as empirical evidence of reduced sleep being healthy. Your body needs sleep for your immune system and aesthetics. This works for me, though, and I’d encourage you to find a sleep regimen that works for you.