One of the books I read recently discussed the importance of sleep. In the book ‘Authenticity’ by David Posen, the author says that teenagers need 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night and younger people need even more. It was also noted that teenagers are biologically ready to sleep at around 11 pm. This suggests that middle school and high school should begin later in the day, perhaps at about 10 am. So, if you’re wondering why you find it difficult to wake up on time every day, this should help you to see why.
This is something I have been focused on, as my one-year-old son has woken me up a few times every night since birth. I see how getting enough sleep is important, to be at my best. Proper sleep is needed to refresh your mind and body. Getting enough sleep helps you to face your daily challenges with a positive attitude. It energizes you to consistently take action during the day, to get things done. Mr. Posen also says that not getting enough sleep decreases intelligence, until you make up for the lost sleep. Perhaps you get extra sleep on the weekends, but this means throwing off your sleep schedule for the upcoming week.
When I was in school, I always just thought I was not a morning person. I have since found that I am most productive in the morning, getting most of my important tasks done before noon. Exercise in the morning is the best since it energizes you for the rest of the day and increases your enthusiasm for work.
When I was a student in University, I once decided to “pull an all-nighter” to study for an exam the next day. The idea was this would allow me more time to study. What really happened was that my brain was completely exhausted and most of my energy was used in keeping me awake in the exam room. I basically guessed on the multiple-choice exam questions, not able to think properly. So, learn from my mistake and spare yourself this experience, it is not worth it!
Some other tips from Mr. Posen’s book on how to get the proper amount of sleep:
- Develop a bedtime routine; read or listen to soft music for example.
- Clear your mind of problems and worries.
- Prepare a to-do list for the next day, before going to bed.
- Don’t watch TV in the bedroom and not right before bedtime.
- Avoid all screens (laptops, tablets, smartphones, e-readers) in the hour before bedtime. The light shining in your eyes signals the brain to stay awake.
- Avoid caffeine within 8 to 10 hours of bedtime.
- Avoid strenuous exercise within 3 hours of bedtime.
- Avoid heavy meals within 3 hours of bedtime. A small snack an hour before bedtime can help, especially if it contains milk.
- Do some form of exercise during the day.
Thanks for reading!