The Power of Sleep by Clara Labelle and Valerie Lam

Hello, our names are Clara and Valerie! Today we are going to talk about sleep! Everyone needs sleep; it repairs your body, helps you think more clearly, improves your energy, reduces stress, and it improves your memory and mood! Lack of sleep is dangerous and is bad for your mind and body. Despite sleep being extremely important and we do it for a third of our lives, that doesn’t mean we don’t have very different opinions on sleep.

Valerie: For me, sleep has been my best friend (well, after Clara). I have always fallen asleep pretty quickly and online school hasn’t changed that. I believe that sleep is an important part of your daily schedule and that everyone should try to get as much of it as possible. As always though, oversleeping is unhealthy, so make sure you are getting 7-9 hours of sleep.  

Clara: I’ve always disliked sleep. Even as a baby, I would never want to go to sleep and I’d only sleep after passing out from exhaustion (this was my parents least favorite thing about me, other than that I was an angel). Recently (especially since becoming a highschooler), I’ve grown to like sleeping a little more, but I still think it’s mostly a waste of time. It’s not like I stay awake for hours trying to fall asleep, I’m actually pretty quick to fall asleep, but I just enjoy doing other things more than I like being in bed. Even though neither are very productive, I’d prefer to look at my phone or read a book than to go to sleep. 

Valerie: Unlike Clara, I find that I am more productive in the afternoon so going to sleep late and waking up late has been the best way for my lifestyle. On school days, I usually go to bed at 11-12 and wake up at 8; but on weekends, I go to bed around 1 and wake up at 11-12am. To some people, this seems preposterous; however for me, this schedule works. Even though I wake up pretty late, I can also wake up pretty early. Do I like waking up early? Nope, but if I have plans or I have homework, I am able to wake up early pretty easily (if and only if I have a very loud alarm clock). My schedule at night is pretty simple: dinner, exercise, homework, and then sleep. In the morning, I’m usually reluctant to get out of bed, but once I’m in the bright, blinding bathroom, I’m nice and hyper.    

Clara: I’m not necessarily a morning person, but when I get up I can be pretty productive (if I feel like it). My sleep schedule is a very consistent 7-8 hours of sleep, maybe 7-9 on weekends. On weekdays I am usually in bed by 10:30 or 11:00, then wake up at 7:30 and on weekends I go to bed at 11:30 or midnight and wake up at 8:30 or 9. I don’t have any reason to get up early on weekends, so I could sleep in if I wanted to, but I don’t. I have zero desire to sleep in unless I’ve had a particularly draining week but even then my circadian rhythm sometimes doesn’t let me sleep in. I’m usually never drowsy and I don’t even drink coffee in the mornings unlike my sister who drinks coffee and gets more sleep than me! I also deal with jetlag surprisingly well. I even sleep well in hotel rooms that I share with my sister and loud, snoring parents! My sleep schedule has always been consistent so my mood in the mornings are always pretty much the same and I’m ready to start the day.

Valerie: I don’t take naps anymore. I used to when I was little, but now I don’t really feel like taking one. During the daytime, I usually feel better about myself if I do something productive or something I enjoy than taking a nap. But my older sister, a nap time lover, has needed naps ever since she started staying up late to finish homework.  

Clara: I never take naps and I haven’t had a nap since I was little and was forced to take naps. I think that they are even more of a waste of time and it spends precious daylight. I also don’t get tired throughout the day, so I don’t understand why people need/want naps (knock on wood, please don’t make me more tired all of a sudden). If I want to rest, I’ll just watch some YouTube or read a book, which are also restful and you can have fun doing it. Naps are boring, but if it helps put you in a better mood, knock yourself out (literally).

Staying awake is a problem for everyone, late risers and early risers alike. So here are some tips to be productive and get stuff done! When you first wake up, outdoor light is the first thing you should look at. Don’t look at your phone, don’t look at the blinding bathroom light, just look outside. Lights from your electronics and light bulbs can make you drowsy and sleepy again, so waking up to fresh bright sunlight is the best treatment for a sleepy morning. Early exercise and showers have also been a reliable habit to keep you awake. Any exercise will also boost your energy and help you get restful sleep, but try not to do it before bed. Some coffee or tea in the morning can wake you up as well. Short afternoon naps can also give you a quick energy boost for the later half of the day, but don’t sleep for too long or else you won’t be able to sleep properly at night! Try to be consistent and follow your circadian rhythm to get as restful of sleep at night as possible. 

Sleep is an important aspect of your life, no doubt about it. Whether you’re a lover of sleep, hater of sleep, late riser, or early riser, sleep is necessary for your survival. By spending time creating habits that will be beneficial for your sleep, body, and mind, you can become a healthier and happier you. 

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