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How Many Hours? Four and a Half.

All the adults keep telling you that your health should be prioritized or that young students like us should get at least eight hours of sleep every night. And you know you should and could be getting eight hours of sleep without the distractions of Facebook, Snapchat, Drama, and Netflix (at least I know I can). But the night before, maybe you went out with your friends, or you had 3 summatives, so you had to pull an all-nighter, or you binge watched all the episodes of Gossip Girl. With the help of time management, anything can be done, right? I mean, I wouldn’t know…

But with juniors and even sophomores nearing the less-than-five-hours sleeping habit, there are serious health considerations that must be acknowledged. Chronic sleep deprivation can be detrimental to our health. It is tied to the increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression.

All over Facebook, the “Hungry 24/7” memes seem to be a trend.

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Well, sleep deprivation may be the source of these memes. One study shows that sleepiness increases our appetite and hunger, “If the brain is not getting the energy it needs from sleep it will often try to get it from food,” says Chris Winter, MD, owner of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine in Virginia. Without much sleep, the body produces more ghrelin, the hunger hormone that triggers the hunger in your brain. And too much of this creates the cravings for fatty, oily, sugar foods.

You may think, oh I can just control myself from eating these foods, easy peasy lemon squeezy! Wrong. Even from not eating, there is still a high chance of weight gain. A lack of sleep is a sure way to slow down your metabolism, ultimately leading to an unhealthier diet. Let’s take a typical KIS student’s sleep schedule as a Junior: four and a half hours of sleep each school night. With this sleep schedule, the body’s ability to respond to insulin, the hormone for regulating energy in your body, is decreased by more than 30%. This means that students can only perform at 70% of their full potential. Remember that time you got a C on a test? You could have gotten an A!

Although that may have been a slight exaggeration, there is some truth to that. But more meme time.

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Yes. The lack of sleep is part of the reason why your girlfriend or yourself may never decide on a restaurant. Want Italian? No, too greasy. Want Korean? No, not that too. Want Mexican? No, it makes me fart too much. I think that one’s self-explanatory.

And lastly, drama. Everybody at KIS has been in some sort of drama, whether it’s a petty fight over ignored messages or a full-out war from talking behind someone’s back. Your emotions have a direct correlation between your sleep schedule. Simply put, the more sleep you get, the better the mood; the less sleep you get, the worse the mood.

All of these have been said by parents, teachers, and many adults. But what’s the point of this article then? Well, why not give it a try for the first time? I definitely will. Even though this is the second-semester of junior year, I will be increasing my sleep hours, or at least be trying to do so. I, myself, have a gaming and television addiction that I need to reduce and starting with that, I will take my first step to a million miles. If a semi-hardworking junior in his most important time of his life can do it, so can you.

Featured Image: Amber Buddy

– Sean Choi (’18)

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