Sleep: It is Just That Important!



The Teddy bear is having a good dream right now. Hope you have one too during REM sleep tonight!

Cynthia Lan, Photojournalist

Have you noticed that everybody seems to be getting sick when the seasons change, especially from winter to spring? Maybe even you have caught a cold lately. Getting sick may cause you to miss school, not have energy to finish homework, feel miserable on the weekend when you are supposed to relax, and miss out on a lot of other things. Nevertheless, do you know that there’s a simple thing that you can do to maintain your health? That is sleeping.


A student at YLHS recently experienced the power of sleep first hand. She had been feeling dizzy and had trouble focusing in class for a few days after she came back from a long swim meet in the cold weather. She wanted to push through and not miss any schoolwork, but with the persistent powerlessness on the body and headache, one night at 7pm. she fell asleep, the next time she woke up it was 7 in the morning. With the surprise of how many hours she slept compared to her normal sleep schedule, she also felt much more energetic and less dizzy. And that whole day in school, she did more work than the past few days and was more efficient! 


Sleep is essential for all creatures in many ways. Without sleep, humans are like cars running with empty gas tanks, phones with no battery, and plants without any sunlight or water..


First off, sleep can support our immune system so there are more ‘soldiers’ to fight for our body. “Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick” (


Moreover, sleep helps us to recover and rejuvenate both our body and mind. “Specifically, a good night’s sleep can boost your mood, outlook and temperament” (


For teenagers, sleep is especially important yet most high school students lack it. After a long day from school, your energy is drained and you just want to lay in your bed and sleep. This is because this is when your body is telling you, it’s time for rest! And when you are actually in deep sleep, your body starts to repair and regenerate itself by producing cytokines. Cytokines is a substance that helps the human body heal faster and only is produced when you are sleeping.


In the teenage years, people are still developing the last part of their physical and mental traits. Therefore they do require more sleep than adults. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “Children: Preschoolers (3-5 years) should get 10 to 13 hours, while school-age kids (6-13 years) should strive for nine to 11 hours each night. Teenagers: As kids get older, their need for sleep decreases slightly. Teens (14-17 years) require about eight to 10 hours of nightly sleep” ( Sufficient sleep is critical for teens’ cognitive development, mood, and behavior. Lack of sleep is more likely to lead to problems like depression, anxiety, and poor concentration.


Lack of sleep can also lead to the development of chronic conditions. “…including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression” ( This is because sleep helps to rest our body, and when it cannot get enough rest, it is unable to regulate hormones such as insulin, which will lead to chronic conditions.


Furthermore, it is worth noting that irregular sleep is also very harmful to the body. A study published on February 15, 2023 in the Journal of the American Heart Association explained that “Sleep irregularity, particularly sleep duration irregularity, was associated with several measures of subclinical atherosclerosis. Sleep regularity may be a modifiable target for reducing atherosclerosis risk” ( This shows that teens should maintain a regular sleep pattern and consistent amount of sleep each night. 


In addition, having REM sleep is the reason you get refreshed in the morning too, REM sleep is when you are in deep sleep, and it is the time you dream. You can try an experiment on yourself to experience the differences. Day one, go to bed early, sleep before 11:30 p.m. Day two, go to bed as late as you can stay up, and sleep the same hours you did yesterday. Observe your differences between two days. “When I lack sleep I feel exhausted the next day and I don’t have any energy. My work at school is rushed and full of errors.” Aiyanna Reed (9)

When I lack sleep I feel exhausted the next day and I don’t have any energy. My work at school is rushed and full of errors.

— Aiyanna Reed (9)

On top of that, there are things that disrupt sleep patterns that are out of our control. Daylight savings is a biannual event that occurs in the U.S. in which clocks are adjusted forward or backward for one hour. It is designed to save energy and extend the sunshine hours in summer. A study in Michigan State University spotted the “influence of time changes associated with Daylight Saving Time on sleep quantity and associated workplace injuries.” (


All is all, as long as students complete homework efficiently and arrange rest time reasonably, these examples are not likely to happen to all of the students, but it is still very important to pay attention to the sleep patterns and time; it is essential to human beings.