The Beauty of Sleep
By Jennifer Yoo
I started to prioritize my sleep when I was in college. For the first time in my life, I didn’t have to follow a traditional school schedule, so I was going to bed at 3 a.m. and waking up at 10 a.m. While it was fun staying up late, I would feel sluggish and foggy in the mornings. I had a friend who was always full of energy, so one day I asked her, “How are you not tired?” This is when I discovered the wonders of sleep hygiene!
We all know how important it is to get the recommended amount of sleep every night. For teenagers, the recommended amount is eight to ten hours per night, while for adults, it is seven to nine hours. When it comes to sleep, something that is equally important (that we may not think about as much) is the quality of our sleep, or how well we sleep.
So what does good quality sleep look like? Here are characteristics of high quality sleep:
Falling asleep within thirty minutes
Waking up no more than once per night
If you do wake up, being able to fall asleep again within twenty minutes
Sleep hygiene can greatly impact the quality of sleep. Strong sleep hygiene is about creating a sleeping environment and practicing daily routines that promote consistent, uninterrupted sleep. While every person will need to find which sleep hygiene practices work best for them, a few general guidelines can help you begin.
Your Everyday Practices
Wake up at the same time every day
Create and follow a nightly routine to relax your body and mind
Consider your sleeping environment: dim lights, set aside devices
I am glad I learned how to make sleep a priority in my life. Because of good-quality sleep, I feel healthier and more present in my life.
Jennifer Yoo is the middle school counselor. “The Beauty of Sleep” is part of the Balance series which shares wellness stories and ideas from members of the KIS community.