Importance of sleep


Justin Gard sleeps through individual work time during class. This is a common occurence in most classes throughout the day.

Anika Schmitt, Staff Writer


Sleeping is a basic human need, just like eating, drinking and breathing. It is pretty hard to get an exact amount of sleep. But if you do not get the right amount multiple nights in a row, it can start to have some bad effects on your body.

When you are low or behind on sleep, it is called sleep deficiency. Sleep deficiency can interfere with work, driving, school and social functioning. People also have trouble focusing, reacting and learning. Sleep deprivation also makes you have mood swings, and impairs your judgement on people’s emotions and reactions.

Chris Wiedmann is the athletic trainer at Johnston High School. As an athletic trainer, he sees many sleep deprived people trying to push themselves too far with not enough sleep. He recommends high school students get ten to 12 hours a night, but he knows that for high school students, that is very hard to pull off. Wiedmann suggests students do not use technology an hour before they go to bed. This lets the brain relax and lessens the stimulus so the body can realize it needs to rest “One of the things that occurs while you are at sleep, is your body’s at rest and it’s able to repair and recover from the day,” Wiedmann said. “Everything from the physical and also the mental, kind of clearing out the junk so to speak. Our brain is still very active while we’re at sleep, and we get rid of and work through some of our problems. So if you’re not having that down time, you’re more likely to break down, anything from not recovering from a workout to your body not being able to fight off the cold or flu that is going around the school.”

Sleep deficiency also has physical effects on your body. It can have short term problems like not being able to repair muscles and tissues or not growing and developing at a normal rate. It also interferes with with the balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry or full. Long term effects of sleep deficiency can be heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes and stroke. It can even lead to obesity, depression and suicide.

Daniel Yang ’18 is one of the many students at Johnston who would be considered sleep deprived. He consistently gets four to six hours of sleep at night and constantly feels tired throughout the day. “Last semester, I slept through four periods of my day, so basically in over half of my classes I had no clue what I was doing. I was less focused and forget a lot of things,” Yang said. He went on to describe how he would be taking a test and fall asleep for five minutes in the middle of the test.

Homework and procrastination are two main causes of Yang’s exhaustion. Yang has a full academic schedule, including five A.P. classes. He has to stay up late to study for all of his tests and finish his homework assignments. “With A.P. tests coming up in 20 days, I will probably have to pull all nighters at least a few times a week,” he said.

His sleep is very spread out throughout the day, he takes naps while doing homework then sleeps around four hours at night. As the end of the year is approaching, Yang is planning on getting less sleep than he has been all year.

Daniel pulls these all nighters and carries out his crazy sleep schedule all by himself. His parents aren’t aware that he is doing this, and they have no clue that he sleeps through half of his classes. When Daniel stays up into the early morning, they are sound asleep.