Eternally nocturnal – sleepless nights

Eternally nocturnal - sleepless nights

photo by Areli Smith

Everyone knows what to expect after pulling an all-nighter; you wake up bright and early for school and find yourself exhausted. You drag yourself through classes, falling asleep sporadically, and as soon as your return home, you crawl into bed.

“You can’t focus because your mind is literally falling asleep in class. It’s like your brain is turning off; it’s not fun and you can’t do any of the work most of the time, but you still have to push through. It just really sucks,” junior Trent Turner said.

Some students get as little as two to four hours of sleep a night, far below the eight to 10 hours recommended for teenagers by the CDC

“Sometimes I just can’t go to bed. I don’t know how to explain it. I don’t have anything diagnosed like insomnia or anything, but I just have a really difficult time. I stay up and anytime I try to go to sleep I just lay there for hours,” freshman Tracelyn Witsell said.

Some common causes of lack of sleep include large amounts of homework, challenging classes and time-intensive jobs. If students are unable to get to sleep in a timely manner, many resort to using coffee and energy drinks, which tend to make wallets lighter.

“I get two hours of sleep each day because I have work, so I don’t get back from work until like 10:30 p.m.” senior Isabella Ramos said. “I drink coffee and energy drinks that I spend my money on. I don’t have tons of money, so it’s harder for me.”

Though occasionally useful, home remedies for insomnia are anything but fool-proof, and students often find themselves searching for a fix to their unhinged sleep schedule.

“I’ve tried stretching methods like yoga and meditation and I listen to ASMR. I’ve tried aromatherapy, I’ll use candles and different scents to just help calm me down,” Witsell said. “That works sometimes. It’s all kind of random for me, I’ve used a humidifier and all that stuff.”

Many students depend on cell phones for alarms to wake up. This can be detrimental to their sleep schedule, as they have easy access to their phones and blue light can keep you up. Students have tried to find ways around distractions: powering phones off or asking family members to wake them up provide viable alternatives. Often though, the allure of a phone overpowers the boring silence of the night.

“Sometimes I would try leaving my phone across the room so I don’t grab it because I’ll try falling asleep and just stare at my roof. I get bored so I’ll grab my phone and it keeps me up. Sometimes I’ll completely turn off my phone and tell my dad to wake me up in the morning,” freshman Valeria Romero said.