Illustration by Reid Shniderman ’20
Joey Bottini ’19
25% of adults sleep or rest insufficiently 15 out of every 30 days according to The Disease Control and Prevention Center reports last year. Studying optimal sleep in humans is a key to understanding health, wellness and performance.
In a TED Talk called, “Why Do We Sleep?” Russell Foster, Head of the Circadian Center for Sleep in Scotland, discussed the correlation between sleep deprivation and mental illness.
Foster summed up the benefits of getting sufficient, quality sleep by telling his listeners that proper sleep will increase concentration, attention, decision making, creativity, social skills and health, while decreasing mood changes, stress, anger and impulsive behavior.
Health teacher and coach Mr. Scott Heideman emphasizes the importance of sleep.
“I preach in the stress and nutrition unit of my class that sleep, in my opinion, is the number one priority as a stress reliever to ensure success in whatever avenue students choose,” he said.
Mr. Heideman recommended a few key factors that will help students get a good night’s sleep.
Some of his recommendations included being on a schedule, trying to sleep extra hours on the weekend and making sure that your room is a dark and cool environment.
He also stressed using your bed for sleep only, and not for homework or video games.
Mr. Heideman recommends that students should try to get at least eight hours of sleep.
“No less than eight hours of sleep. Without that you will never be at your best potential. You will always be sleep deprived, you will not handle stress well and you will not be at your best academically or athletically,” said Mr. Heideman. “Teenagers who don’t get enough sleep can’t handle stress and it contributes to depression and acne.”
Brophy counselor Mrs. Karen Parise also stressed the importance of sleeping at least eight hours every night in her article “The Importance of Sleep.”
“It is recommended that teens get at least eight and a half to nine and a half hours of sleep each night. When we are sleeping, our brains are working overtime clearing out toxins via the glymphatic system,” said Mrs. Parise. “Studies have shown that chemicals utilized in REM sleep are critical for repairing the body, especially the brain.”