Sleepless in Seattle (Prep)

Addie Roza, Staff Writer

There is no doubt that Seattle Prep students lack sleep. Prep’s rigorous schedule makes it impossible for students to get the sleep that they need. The recommended amount of sleep for teens is 8 to 10 hours, but that seems pretty difficult to achieve with the amount of homework, sports and extra-curricula’s that prep students tend to participate in. When told that the recommended amount of sleep for teens is 9 hours, Kennedy Klein ’22 broke out laughing and responded with “Is that a joke? I got 5 and a half hours of sleep last night!”

Kyle Carlesimo ‘21, a student athlete on the Prep Varsity Basketball, spends two hours a day after school in the gym and then spends up to 3 hours at his desk finishing homework and projects. On average, Kyle says “I get about 4 to 5 hours of sleep each night, and sometimes I go to bed and wake up two hours later in the middle of the night to finish my homework, then I go back to bed.”

The lack of sleep that many students at Prep experience can affect their everyday life and have serious long-term effects. Studies have shown that student’s academic performance is negatively affected if they do not obtain their recommended amount of sleep. Bevin Kelly ’21 says “I am constantly falling asleep in class because I cannot keep my eyes open.” Along with lower performance in school, the risk of depression and anxiety increases with the lack of sleep.

Many students at Prep do not have trouble being in bed for the recommended 8+ hours, but instead have trouble falling asleep; this disorder is known as insomnia. Insomnia inhibits people from falling asleep and overall reduces their sleep duration. Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the body to induce sleep. Many students at Prep take a melatonin pill an hour before they get in bed to help induce sleep which helps fight insomnia.

Kate Allen ’21 manages to achieve the impossible and often gets over nine hours of sleep in a night. Her nighttime routine consists of getting her homework done, and then going to bed. She says, “I always stay on top of my homework so that I can prioritize sleep.”

Sleep is not just a time to relax, it also is a time in which the body repairs itself. Cells produce more protein when the body is asleep and this can help the body fight sicknesses, repair muscle damage, increase brain growth, and reduce stress levels! It is crucial for teens to get their sleep and it is one of the easiest ways to improve physical and mental health!