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Student voices: Don't underestimate the value of sleep

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opinion Farmington, 55024
Farmington Minnesota P.O. Box 192 / 312 Oak St. 55024

What's your favorite thing to do on a weekend? Maybe go to a club, or out to a movie? I enjoy those too, but nothing is better than sleeping. Sleeping in is probably the thing I look forward to most on the weekends. One statistic shows that you spend one-third of your life sleeping. This would bother me if I didn't enjoy it so much.

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The brand new Farmington High School comes with many changes, but my personal favorite is the new starting time. 8:20 a.m. will be when the morning bell rings. Compared to 7:35, that's a prayer answered. It's about time people realized how important sleep is, and how much we teenagers lack it. It is recommended teens get about eight and a half to nine hours of sleep each night. Do we? Not usually.

According to kidshealth.org, teens shouldn't be given such a bad rap for oversleeping and dozing off in class. Recent studies show how different our sleeping patterns are compared to kids and adults. Our bodies' internal clocks are temporarily reset to both fall asleep and wake up later.

You may be wondering if you are getting enough sleep; some questions to ask yourself are: Do I have difficulty waking up in the morning? Do I have an inability to concentrate, or am I falling asleep in class? If you're feeling a little depressed or unusually moody, it can be caused by sleep deprivation. If you sit in a class or walk through the halls, it is very obvious who is suffering from a lack of sleep. Just look for the people who are completely aloof, only focusing on dragging themselves to their next class. They usually have imprints on their face from falling asleep on their notebooks.

There are tons of reasons people don't get the sleep they should. Stress is a major factor because the body has a hard time shutting itself down when under pressure. It doesn't help when you're worried about plans for the weekend or homework that's due the next day.

Adults always tell us how important it is to go to bed earlier, but you don't see what it could hurt to stay up an hour or two later.

Did you know beauty sleep is called "beauty" sleep for a reason? Sleeping is your body's time for healing and repairing especially for your skin. Puffy, bloodshot eyes are not the most attractive.

I asked a new student at FHS what she thought about the new starting time for the high school and she said, "At my old school we started at 8:10, and I can definitely feel the difference of just 50 lost minutes of sleep. I can't wait for next year's time change."

Just a small, extra amount of sleep can go a long way. On Wednesdays at FHS, we don't start until 7:53. It's unbelievable how much of a difference it makes with the rest of the school day.

I looked up some fun facts about sleep on achooallergy.com. Fact: 34 says women need up to an hour more of sleep than men, and not getting that extra hour may be a reason why women are more susceptible to depression.

That is the excuse I'll use next time my mom tries to wake me up on a Saturday morning.

Ayla Benike is a junior at Farmington High School. Her column appears every other week.

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