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2019, February, Sleep Deprivation, Bhardwaj

Students Take 5 APs: What Happens Next Will Shock You!
by Sanvi Bhardwaj, 2020 (posted 2-18-19)

We’ve all been there. The 2 AM struggle, barely awake but still doing homework, working on a project, or studying for a test. And this happens more often than we’d like. Here’s a firsthand look at some of the brightest, yet most sleep-deprived students at Cheshire High School.

Cindy “Yaya” Guo (2020) and Laxman Singanamala (2020) are both in the thick of junior year, struggling under the weight of their coursework, extracurriculars, and just day-to-day life. For them, sleep is not a need, but a luxury. They both survive on a paltry few hours of sleep per night; Yaya averages 4-5 hours, while Laxman averages 3-4.5 hours. Their reason? Yaya states it well: “It’s usually because of homework with a dash of procrastination and bad time management sprinkled in.” Laxman echoed this statement, and it likely resonates with a majority of the student body. As the school year progresses, each class adds more and more homework to keep up with the looming deadlines of midterms and AP exams.

To keep up, sometimes students sacrifice an entire night of sleep and pull an all-nighter. Laxman has fallen victim to this, saying “[all-nighters] happen about once a year. The lack of sleep causes your mind to befuddle and it dulls your senses, more so than a regular day.” For them, a “regular day” means that they don’t feel awake until 8:30-9:00 AM, well into their second period of class. This does not bode well during class, where students are struggling to stay awake and learn the material. Yaya is victim to this, saying she falls asleep “maybe once every two weeks” in class. Laxman, however, claims differently, “I have never technically fallen asleep during class time, but once during a break in between double period Physics I fell asleep and Ms. Barker had to wake me up.” 

When asked if they had any advice, Laxman said simply, “sleep more,” while Yaya went in depth. “Take car naps. They’re wonderful, and if you do, turn on the butt warmer and feel yourself melt into the car seat and all the tension slide out of your back. Also, if you’re going to fall asleep in class face away from the teacher and have a friend cover for you. Make sure you have your arm placed so it looks like you’re taking notes.” These useful pieces of advice accurately portray the daily life of an average Cheshire High student - tired and looking forward to a nap. 

To battle the callings of sleep, many students have one drink they would value more than water -- coffee. Many people don’t consider themselves ready for the day without it. Audrey Kiesling (2020) and Molly Hayden (2020) are both students who start their day with this addictive beverage. Both juniors drink a cup in the morning before school. However, they started drinking it early, Molly starting in “sophomore year when the stress really hit,” and Audrey starting as early as “5th or 6th grade.” This may seem alarming, but for much of the student body, it’s crucial for staying awake and attentive. With the growing necessity to further expand resumes while maintaining high grades for colleges, it’s no wonder that students have been sacrificing sleep, but what they really want to do is hit the snooze button on stress.