Staying Awake

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Staying Awake

Skylar Jones, Author

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At this point in the new school year, it is likely that many of us are starting to complain about being tired and not getting enough sleep. Unfortunately, it’s an epidemic that will last until the end of the year, unless we can find better ways to keep ourselves awake.

Many of us understand what it is like to spend our entire day sleepy and unable to focus very well: we don’t pay as much attention in our classes, unable to focus on any of our school work, and likely notice that our test grades aren’t as high as they typically are. It’s a natural occurrence to any high school kid but that certaintly doesn’t mean that it’s a positive one.

I asked a few Ridgeline, Logan, Mountain Crest, and college students about their current sleeping habits.

Q. What time do you typically go to sleep at?
A. Lexi (LHS): Like midnight or one.
Parker (RHS): Usually, I go to sleep around 11:30.
Molly (U of U): Usually around 12:00-1.
Giovanni (MCHS): Well, there’s no typical for me. It spans from the earliest being around 10 to the latest being around 3 or 4 in the morning.

Q. What time do you typically to wake up at?
A. Lexi (LHS): Either six or six-thirty. I don’t know.
Parker (RHS): About seven.
Molly (U of U): I usually wake up around seven to seven-thirty.
Giovanni (MCHS): On a school day, I wake up around 6:30 but I don’t actually get up until around 7:40.

Q. How do you wake yourself up in the mornings?
A. Lexi (LHS): My parents or my phone’s alarm.
Parker (RHS): An alarm clock.
Molly (U of U): I wake myself with an alarm that I snooze repeatedly.
Giovanni (MCHS): My alarm, no matter what.

Q. How awake are you right now on a scale of 1-10?
A. Lexi (LHS): I’m feelin’ an eight.
Parker (RHS): Like a four or a five.
Molly (U of U): I’d say I’m about seven awakeness.
Giovanni (MCHS): Eight. I just had coffee.

It should be clear that many students around the district suffer from tired days. Knowing now how kids deal with exhaustion, I took the time to research and help them out.

With a few tips and tricks, we can help ourselves avoid these lazy and unproductive days.

The best way to feel well-rested is to go to sleep on time. Decide what is needed to do when waking up in the morning, how long that will take, and adjusting the time we go to bed. For example: if it’s necessary to take a shower and fix up our hair in the morning, and that takes around an hour, we should go to sleep an hour earlier.

However, it is likely that the majority of us have tried that method and found it unproductive or unhelpful. Other factors can come into play that make it difficult for us to go to bed at the time that we wish. It’s not like we can all go to bed at nine and wake up at six every single day. But trying to get ourselves on a better sleep schedule can help us immensely in the future for more long time results. Although, not everyone can wait for the long term. Sometimes we need a way to stay awake now.

I personally like to try to stay awake by using more natural methods. Caffeine can be an addictive and it can be unreliable if taken a lot. Luckily, there is a lot of ways to keep the body awake in healthy and natural ways.

Light exercise can help blood flow and release endorphins that’ll help exhaustion: in addition, taking deep breaths along with moving around can revitalize the mind. Sometimes splashing some cold water on our face or taking a quick shower can help us keep the mind alert. Playing some energetic music can help keep us in a good and awake mood.

With all of these natural tips, we should still drink lots of water during the day and eat something when we wake up, even if we’re not particularly hungry. Eating can help with low blood sugar levels, another thing that can cause fatigue and drowsiness.

Sometimes, these tips won’t work the way that we want them too. If extremely desperate, a cup of coffee or an energy drink can help us stay awake for a few more hours. But… This should be the LAST resort! Our bodies can become dependent on these and make it more difficult in the long run to stay awake as long as needed to, as well as the caffeine becoming less and less effective the more we indulge in it.

No matter what we all decide to do, I hope we can all start becoming a little more effective in our classes. No one likes to spend their entire day groggy and tired. Remember to start adapting better sleep habits for the long run, and I’m sure that our bodies will soon be grateful for the change.