Three Chanhassen High School seniors realized the extent of their sleep deficit, and the problems that come with it. They said that at a senior class meeting, the school principal reported that just 7 percent of students were getting 8 or more hours of sleep.
Chanhassen High School isn’t alone. The National Sleep Foundation reports that teens need 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night to perform their best, but most don’t get enough sleep. Teens who stay up late and sleep in on the weekends could hurt their sleep quality, the organization said.
Darby Ottoson, Megan Carver and Maddy Schmall resolved to raise awareness of the benefits of sleep with their capstone project, CNHSsleep.
“Sleep is really important and it’s pretty underrated nowadays, because teens are getting a lot less than they actually need to get,” said Ottoson.
The project has included a “sleepy time section,” in which the trio turned a gym space into a comfy sleep fair with blankets, snacks and aromatherapy. In total, 75 of their peers attended, and most ended up napping for the whole period.
They held an expert panel for parents with a presentation, and will also be blasting out sleep skills tips to their classmates in the next couple weeks.
“Sleep isn’t really a priority,” said Ottoson, citing other time-consuming activities like college applications. “The more research we’ve done, the more we find out it should be one of your main priorities.”
They’re thankful for their school’s capstone project, which is meant to impact the community in a positive way.
“It really prepares us for the future and sets us up for better success in college,” Carver said.
And through the project, they’ve discovered faults in their own sleep habits and the consequences of it. Schmall said that because of a hectic schedule, she sometimes gets just 5 or 6 hours of sleep each night.
“That’s kind of a big problem,” she said.