Why don’t we get the sleep we need?


Andisheh A.

from Unsplash.com

Farah Hamza, Staff Writer

Being a student in University High School is a challenging task. It means you are always studying, reading, writing and thinking. Time can seem fleeting with the busy schedules of many UHS students, which often causes them to cut into their time for rest.

According to the Mayo Clinic, insomnia is a common sleep disorder characterized by the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep.

“I did have trouble sleeping properly because of school stress,” freshman Alya Bayoumi said. “The studying is a lot because our units are big and include many topics that the teachers don’t have enough time to go over in class. Also, the workload is a lot. We get many homework assignments that need more time than the due date assigned.”

Adjusting to a heavy workload often triggers students with these sleep patterns, especially the newly transitioning first-year students. Middle school does not typically require the same commitment as a high school schedule, which can be overwhelming for the lowerclassmen.

“Back in freshman year, I had major insomnia because I didn’t know how to balance my schedule at all,” junior Sydney Quach said. “I would take a pill of melatonin every night, but, thankfully, now that I’ve figured out how to balance my schedule, I was able to stop taking melatonin every day.”

Students cite their procrastinating tendencies and the stress it entails as another cause for their unhealthy sleeping patterns.

“Sometimes if I don’t finish homework even after staying up late, I set an alarm to wake up early to do it,” junior Bree Tassinari said. “Then at night, I am still stressed since it’s not done, so I end up waking up earlier than the alarm I set.”

The types of courses students take at UHS have also affected their sleeping patterns. While the workload is a factor, many students report losing sleep due to anxiety over upcoming assessments in their more challenging classes.

“I try to have a sleep schedule and go to bed the same time every night, but sometimes, especially before math tests, it’s hard for me to fall asleep and just the anticipation of all that could go wrong the next day makes me just want to stay awake, even when I know that there’s nothing I can do,” junior Manisha Sawhney said.

While these unhealthy sleep patterns may seem inescapable, there are resources to aid these issues in our community. This includes our school counselors, trained to deal with mental health problems, or our school psychologists, Ms. Melissa Hilken and Mr. Nathan O’Leary.