Lack of sleep, lack of motivation

SHS students face a lack of sleep due to busy schedules


The Southport Sleepers page on Instagram shows pictures of students sleeping during class at SHS. photo contributed by @southportsleepers

With alarms of students going off every weekday at various times before 7:10 a.m., some can find it hard to get up in the morning, let alone put themselves in headspace to tackle a seven hour school day. Some only ended their day just a couple of hours before they have to start an entire new one.

“At times, I will sleep really late,” junior Zing Par said. “Rarely, I will sleep really early because I work, and when I come home, I have to do a lot of work … school related.”

With trying to find balance between extracurriculars, school and jobs, students are finding themselves exhausted and getting an unhealthy amount of sleep on school nights. Due to having to wake up so early, the SHS schedule is seen as a main reason for sleep deprivation.

Photos posted of students sleeping everywhere and anywhere in SHS posted on social media have brought more attention to the relationship between the school schedule and the amount of sleep that developing teens get each night.

With many high schoolers choosing to take up extracurriculars or working jobs, those two alone are enough to take up a whole evening that could be spent doing schoolwork and studying.

Par has noticed that the SHS schedule clashes with her own schedule, making it very inconvenient for her. With Mondays being the seven 45 minute classes, it’s also the day she has to work after school ends.

“I have to know all of the homework that I have to do and I also have to plan ahead,” Par said. “The tests and stuff, they kind of bump into my work time. I don’t really have enough time to study.” 

Senior Nathan Hunt gets only 5 hours of sleep a night after finishing another day of school and then transitions to complete the rest of his hectic schedule. After school, his days can be followed by playing sports with his friends or going to his job. Hunt thinks that because of how early school starts, it causes students to lose sleep.

“I think it does just because of how early it starts. Instead of 7 a.m., I think it should start at 8,” Hunt said. 

But with a large township that just keeps on growing, Perry Township is finding it hard to not reuse the same buses for the schools. Another problem is that elementary schoolers going to school at 10 a.m. is too late for the start of a school day. 

Hunt notices that it’s harder to stay awake in class sometimes or even get to school before the bell rings. Naps will be taken after school and even when he wakes up, he’s still tired.

However, Hunt isn’t the only one that is noticing that their sleep schedule is completely abnormal. Junior Nat Tien also attests that their sleep schedule is unregulated as well. 

Tien has their hands occupied with being involved in both theater class and drama club, as well as working at their job until 10 p.m. on school nights. Their weekly hours for work can range anywhere from 20-36 hours a week. With working later and then coming home to assessments to study for or homework needing to be completed, Tien only gets a few hours of sleep a night as well.

“I either sleep from when I get home from school until the next morning, or I don’t go to bed until 3(a.m.) and I wake up at 5:30, every morning,” Tien said. 

Because of the recommended 8 hours of sleep for growing teens barely being meant, students notice that their performance in school is not as good as it should be. 

During lessons, students can’t help but put their heads down to try to make up for the sleep that they were not able to get at night, causing vital information to be missed or assignments to not be taken at the student’s full potential. Tien mentions it’s easier to fall asleep in the classes where you’re sitting down for most of the period.

Hunt has noticed that his grades are affected because of assignments being substituted out for a nap or information that he has to ask his friends for since he was not conscious to hear it. 

“If I (have a) lack of sleep, I (have a) lack of motivation, which makes me not want to do any of my schoolwork or get involved in anything,” Par said. 

These SHS students have one common factor between them, they wish to start the school day off later. Some think just one hour later would help with the loss of sleep. But with a three tier school township system, it’s not clear how it could work out.

However, the issue isn’t to blame entirely on SHS. Tien and Par think that students should learn how to manage their time better, which could tackle the issue somewhat, and not make chaotic sleep schedules as much of a problem. 

“But if we could start later, I think it would be ideal,” Tien said. “I just think we need to learn better time management.”