Deadlines & Drowsiness: More Students are Getting Less Sleep than Ever


Lillian Ferrell, Miner Detail Staff Writer

With mounting pressure as schools enter the spring semester, students are getting less sleep than ever, leading to a universal epidemic of drowsiness as students battle to finish the third quarter strong. Extracurriculars, sports state championships, and looming AP exams exacerbate this issue as many students, even within our own Bishop Manogue community, have schedules packed to the brim.
Following the close of the first semester, I remember thinking to myself that after the holidays, school would be more smooth sailing than it was prior. Admittedly, the busyness of the Christmas season had concluded, and I was prepared to jump into classes to finish out my senior year strong. However, I underestimated the number of commitments and events that take place in the early months of the year, in addition to the beginning of a variety of spring sports that the majority of my friends are engaged in to some degree. I have found that with each and every week of classes, my peers and I have held a unanimous belief that our sleep is slowly decreasing while the amount of engagements we are committed to is somehow increasing.
Much of this mounting stress results from aspects of our environment such as weather patterns. Reno has had an especially stormy winter, resulting in a number of delays and virtual learning days for schools across Washoe County. Journalist Hannah Karlin spoke on this issue discussing studies that found, “When the weather is more consistent, students are better able to anticipate emotional and physical needs, adapt to difficulties and appreciate change.” Furthermore, she continues, “The abrupt weather change can alter our focus, which can negatively affect students’ academic success.” Such factors in culmination with the hectic nature of the second semester of the academic year is bound to take a toll on students’ well being and ability to rest.
A recent Healthline study also commented on this issue. “Research has found that 73 percent of high school students regularly do not get a healthy amount of sleep.” Such results are highly concerning considering sleep being a catalyst for improved health, academic success, and optimal social and emotional well being. With sickness going around during periods of cold weather, students should be taking time to rest now more than ever.
As we head into the last few months of the 2022-2023 academic year, I urge you to reach out to the students and educators in your life, supporting them through this busy season. A simple check in or reminder to take time to relax in the midst of a chaotic week could be just what someone needs to get back on the right track. Another way to ensure that students are looking after their needs this semester is to set reminders for times to log off devices, or to establish a regular sleep schedule. The benefits of even a few extra minutes of rest can entirely change the trajectory of one’s day.