Time is Fleeting: Sleep Schedules in High School


img_3167Senior year has been really busy, and since the end of the summer my sleep habits have devolved into something really unfortunate. Weighed down with homework, college applications, and tennis, I haven’t been able to find much time to sleep. Recently I’ve thought a lot about my schedule to try to better understand where my time goes each day
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After tennis practice each night, I shower, eat dinner, and then start my homework right away, usually around seven. Since I don’t feel as though I take any concrete breaks throughout the night, how can my average bedtime be past midnight? I don’t believe Branson assigns me more than six hours of work a night, so my sleep must be victim to something else: lack of focus, a factor only amplified by the busiest fall I’ve faced.

Just since I started writing this, I’ve refreshed my email about thirty times, FaceTimed with my brother, and listened to “November Rain” twice on repeat. Beyond external distractions, the time I spend spacing-out must accumulate to at least a half hour each night. It’s ten-thirty and the next instant it’s ten forty-five. Time is fleeting, and I don’t feel as though I’m able to adequately catch and utilize the evening hours.

After a whole day of interactions and conversations and new ideas, I can’t focus at night and I don’t really want to. I like to have this time to process and think, to feel excited and imaginative. A routine I’ve toyed with during my time at Branson, but have never fully committed to, is finishing homework in the morning.

Once I move past the initial grogginess, I always feel more alert after a night of sleep. Since my mind’s had a whole night to process the previous day and rejuvenate, I find myself naturally focusing, meaning I’m able to read, write, and solve problems much more quickly than at night. If nothing else, the pressure to complete an assignment in limited time drives me to work more efficiently. The morning is a really peaceful time, and I like going to school with my mind already awake. Of course working in the morning may not be a good idea if you have trouble waking up or if you can’t accurately estimate how time you need to complete your assignments.

But since time seems to move more slowly in the morning, I think I might try to adopt this routine more fully, leaving the night as a time to revel in distraction and the morning to be focused. This will all probably backfire and soon I’ll be nocturnal, but for now, I’m going to give it a try.