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Sleep on It

Elky Pascal

We all know that sleep is important. But just how crucial is it? Teen Pages investigated the matter and we’ve got you covered! Now you can really sleep well tonight

Thursday, June 01, 2017

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Yaelli Ostreicher, 15, thinks that, “Deep down most teens know they can’t function at their optimum level without enough sleep. But sometimes a little niggling voice of logic — false logic! — pipes up. It tries to rationalize staying up late by reasoning, This (fill in the blank) that I’m doing now is worth it! It’s fine if I’m a bit tired tomorrow.”

Right? Wrong!

Yaelli continues, “Being sleep-deprived the next day can lead to all sorts of things that are not worth it to compromise on. For example, you may snap at a classmate, causing a rift in your friendship. Or you may fail an important test that your poor brain just couldn’t concentrate on, leading to a disappointing mark on your report card.”

Another teen relates that, “One summer, when I was in camp, I was working on the camp newspaper and stayed up for two days straight. Then it was Shabbos. I showered and lay down before licht bentshing for a ‘nap’ and then woke up for Shalosh Seudos! Without sleep we simply can’t function!”

Next time you’re contemplating burning the midnight oil and beyond, it’s worth thinking of the far-reaching consequences it may have. Is it really worth it?

Mindful Mothers

Mrs. T., a mother who raised many teens, happily confesses that she was always the mother that made her kids go to sleep on time.


“That started very early on and so my kids always understood and felt the need for a good night’s sleep. Even when my girls were in high school, they never went to sleep past eleven thirty because they had to be up by seven forty-five and they really did not feel well if they did not have a good night’s sleep.” 

She admits that her daughter currently in high school goes to sleep much later than eleven thirty, and she really has a hard time getting up in the morning because she is cranky and lethargic. And who knows what the rest of the day brings.

Studies show that a good night’s sleep helps teens focus better in school. The whole body and mind work better and they in turn feel better about themselves.

Teachers’ Take

What do teachers have to say on the matter? Mrs. R. teaches first period on Sundays and shares that it’s an awful time to teach, especially during the months when Shabbos ends late. “I teach math, which is not the most exciting subject, and I have to work very hard to make the lessons interesting so the girls are motivated to stay awake. Usually if a girl is sleeping, I’ll ask her ‘neighbors’ to wake her up.” Mrs. R. says that most times the embarrassment is enough to keep her (and the rest of the class) up for the rest of the period. What about a chronic offender? “For that kind of girl I will walk over and gently shake her shoulder and say something like, “Good morning, sleepyhead or sleeping beauty!”

Mrs. R. also teaches a Regents’ course, so before the Regents she makes sure to tell the girls to get a good night’s sleep the night before. “It’s important for them to understand that an eight-hour sleep from eleven to seven is not the same as eight hours from two to ten.” (Excerpted from Mishpacha Teen, Issue 38)

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