...makes a teenager productive, happy, energetic, efficient...
You've heard it from Ben Franklin: "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."
You've heard it (if you're Mormon/LDS) from D&C 88:124: "...cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated."
You've heard it from your teachers: "Start going to bed earlier so you can be well rested for your AP test."
You've heard it from your mother: "GET UP!"
You've heard it from your father: "GET UP!"
You've heard it from your friends at sleepovers: "SHUT UP AND GO TO SLEEP!"
You've heard it from the "Stuff You Should Know" podcast (I'll paraphrase this one): A study was done with lab rats where they didn't allow the rats to sleep for 3 weeks. Why three weeks? Because most of them died after 3 weeks, even though these rats would normally have lived for 3 years.
And if you haven't heard it from all of these (and MANY MANY MORE) sources, I have.
And I have suddenly received the rude awakening that they were right all along.
It's not that I didn't believe them.
It's not that I didn't want to get enough sleep.
It's not that it would have been hard.
It's not that I wouldn't have had enough time to do my homework.
I just...didn't go to bed early this school year. Holy crenshaw, my dad was right all these years - teenagers do think they're invincible! I thought that my functioning level wasn't any different at 6 hours of sleep, I thought that midnight was a perfectly reasonable bedtime, and I thought that it's normal to not be able to get up at 6:30 am.
I thought incorrectly. (And that is a very awkward phrase.)
So now my question for myself, and all you other quasi insomniacs is...
WHY CAN'T WE JUST GO TO BED AT A SOMEWHAT REASONABLE HOUR?!
I'm here to tell you, next school year's going to be different.
Yes, I know I've been saying that ever since 6th grade. But I mean it this time. Because this summer has opened my eyes to the resplendent beauty of getting enough sleep. And it's all because of a slight difference in schedule. (And I should get something for using the word "resplendent").
This summer, my weekday schedule has gone something like this:
7 am: Wake up and exercise (and let me tell you, this is WORTH IT!)
8 am: Get ready for the day
9 am: Go to work at my dad's office
1 pm: Go home and eat lunch
The rest of the day...I can do whatever I want.
11:30 (ish): Get ready for bed. (It's not that hard. Seriously.)
Going to sleep at 12 and getting up at 7 only gives me an hour or two more than I usually got during the school year. But the difference is night and day.
And surprisingly, the whole "don't sleep longer than you need to and you won't be tired" is true too.
So just don't be the "non" in "non-excellent" and go to sleep on time! I PROMISE it's worth sacrificing that one last minesweeper game or reading Harry Potter for the 17th time.