From Tired To Wired

How to Acclimate Your Summer Sleep Schedule for School

From Tired To Wired
Elan Levine
My actual morning alarm system… which starts at 5:30 AM and ends around 7:10 AM

Since the beginning of school, I have set my alarm for 5:30 AM sharp. Also 5:31, 5:32, 5:33, 5:34 and so on until 7:00. I eventually roll out of bed by 7:15ish, and leave the house by 7:55 at the latest, all while definitely still being half asleep. I haven’t been late to school (yet), nor have I come unprepared (yetknock on wood), but I see it happening not too far down the road if I can’t adjust to this whole “school” thing. 

Of course, my mom has been saying (please read this in that stereotypical “teen imitating their mom” voice that sounds nothing like my mom), “you should have been switching back to your school sleep schedule since before school started… this is not my problem I don’t know why you want me to wake you up! Also something about your college applications and cleaning your room probably!” Yeah yeah yeah, mom I know, I’ll also try to clean the fish out of my fish tank that’s been dead since aquaponics. She just wants the “I told you so” moment that doesn’t actually assist me with my whole “I took a nap in the parking lot and walked in to school 4 minutes before the bell only to take another nap in the parking lot after school so that I would have enough energy to drive home and take a real nap,” so I did some research.

Elan Levine
Emily Furtick sleeping on a bench in the media center after pretending to sleep while posing for a picture 20 minutes earlier

I first decided to ask fellow students how they adjusted to the sleep schedule. Luckily, the knowledge that they too had been in the same boat as me about sleep was comforting enough to make up for their lack of advice. Brianna Otero, like many students, finds it “a struggle to get out of bed.” Meanwhile, Taliyah Jenkins takes an opposite approach and doesn’t “go to sleep at all,” as she tries to cut herself off from homework at midnight, but generally gets “carried away.” So, naturally, it was left up to me to figure this out for you.

Here are the four best methods I have found:

  • Coffee

If you can actually wake up early enough to stop for coffee on the way THEN DO IT!!! It has been proven that the only detriments to drinking coffee is developing caffeine dependence and possibly blocking up your digestive tract. That being said, I still wouldn’t do it. Coffee tastes more bitter than a break-up and costs money. MONEY! I mean you could make it at home, but if you have the motor skills to brew your own coffee that early in the morning, you don’t need to be reading this article.

  • 90 Minute Sleep Cycles

An option that has become increasingly more popular is timing your sleep. Studies have shown that our bodies naturally regulate sleep at 90-minute intervals and if you wake up at the end/beginning of one as opposed to the middle, you will feel less tired. It’s not too hard to do, but you may find that you can easily accumulate a lot of random alarm times on your phone.

  • Going to Bed Earlier

As your parents are probably suggesting, try going to sleep earlier. It makes sense that more sleep can lead to more energy, hence “well rested.” The problem with this, however, is that you are abandoning the best hours of the day, and the entirety of your free-time for something you did your entire childhood, summer, and weekend. How boring!

  • Changing Your Clocks

Last but not least, your last option is to set your clocks forward. There’s no set time that you must set it, but it is suggested anywhere from ten minutes to two hours. This way, when you wake up for your alarm, you FReAk OUt under the assumption that you overslept. You may be thinking that you’re too smart for this and that your brain will simply do the math to figure out the real time, but that’s because you’re thinking too small. Ask your parents to constantly change your clock around (always ahead of the actual time of course) so that you cannot become dependent on your brain. They’ll be glad to help considering it’s for a good cause. 

Regardless of how you decide to wake up, good luck. We are the number one high school in the country and I don’t think we earned that title while half asleep. Also, don’t forget to mark your calendars for November 3rd, when daylight saving time ends and we gain an extra hour of sleep!