Teens returning to school after summer break adjust to normal sleep schedules


Meredith Conrad

September 10th, Joseph Andrews poses for a photo in his bedroom depicting him sleeping while his alarm goes off. “I hate waking up in the mornings, it should be illegal to get up before the sun,” Andrews said.

The sounds of early morning alarms go off all across Plain Local. Tired kids drag themselves out of bed, grumpy and moody with sleep still in their eyes.

With the start of a new school year comes new schedules to memorize, and old sleep schedules to fall back into. Teens need at least eight to ten hours of sleep each night according to the CDC, but with teens returning back to school getting the necessary amount of sleep can be a difficult thing to do.

“Adjusting to the new sleep schedule has definitely been agonizing,” junior Joseph Andrews said.

It is not unusual for teens to struggle with falling asleep at earlier hours. With three months of free time staying up to all hours of the night is an easy thing to do. Many teens will stay up until the early hours of the morning and sleep into the afternoon during the summer.

“During the summer I would normally stay up until 3a.m,” Andrews said.

Even though three months off from school may seem to go by in a flash, it is plenty of time to shift a person’s sleep schedule drastically. This makes falling asleep on school nights challenging and potentially even stressful.

72.7% of highschoolers have said they get less than eight hours of sleep each night according to the CDC.

During summer break I’d get about 11 hours of sleep and now I’m lucky to get six

— Joseph Andrews

Teens like Andrews often have a hard time falling back into the schedule of sleeping specifically for coming back to school. Teenage brains are not designed to naturally wake up before eight am and with a 7:20 tardy bell teens are forced to work against natural biology for the sake of their education.

“During the summer I was staying up much later and sleeping in later in the day,” sophomore Mackenzie Fondriset said. “Now going back to school I try to continue the routine of going to bed earlier so I can wake up earlier but with a lot of school work happening and still getting back into my sleep schedule has been harder.”

School starting up again has been a large hurdle for many teens and their sleep schedules but on the flip side there are students who have thrived jumping back into their old sleeping routines.

“I’ve been going to bed a lot earlier and I’ve been waking up earlier and being up longer has helped a lot,” junior Natalie Lattavo said. “And since I’m waking up so early it makes falling asleep earlier much easier.”

Getting to bed earlier helps functioning at school in the mornings much easier for teens who are able to fall asleep earlier in the evenings.

Getting a full night of sleep is crucial to recharge and recoup after a long day at school, and getting adequate sleep makes school a whole lot easier.