The student publication of Fort Zumwalt West High School

The Solitaire

The student publication of Fort Zumwalt West High School

The Solitaire

The student publication of Fort Zumwalt West High School

The Solitaire

Counting Sheep

How to prepare for bed
Photo by Dreamstime/TNS
Sleep is essential for teenagers, but many struggle to get the proper amount.

Sleep is something that every person needs, but sleeping is not easy for everyone. Whether it be a lack of interest, a need to do other things or a struggle to settle in for the night, getting ready for bed can be difficult for some. This can lead to less hours of sleep.

Lacking sleep is not something to just ignore—it can affect you in many ways. For starters, many of the impacts of sleep deprivation could affect your ability to perform in school. Struggling with control of behavior or emotions, the general ability to make choices may be worsened, a struggle to remember things, experiencing lethargy, reaction time could be slower and a multitude of other things all stem from getting improper amounts of sleep, according to

First of all, it is important to know how much sleep you should be getting. For adults, it is recommended to get at least seven hours of sleep, according to

“In general, high school students should get between seven and ten hours per night,” health teacher Andrew Bauer said. “[But] the amount of sleep needed can vary from person to person.”

But how can you get sleep when you struggle with going to bed? To start, about an hour or so before going to bed, take time away from screens to unwind.

“Great ways to relax are to take a bath, read a book or listen to relaxing music,” school nurse Cristina Armour said.

After you’ve relaxed, you might find yourself more willing to go to sleep. However, if that still isn’t the case, there are other things you can do.

“Have the room set to your level of darkness and cool the body’s temperature,” health teacher Kollin Groves said.

After you’ve settled into bed, maybe you still cannot fall asleep. Occasionally, people will sit in their bed at late hours, but struggle to actually fall asleep because of anxious thinking.

“A big help for me to prepare for sleep is to make sure I have everything ready to go for the next day,” Bauer said. “This helps [stop] me from laying in bed and thinking about the things I need to get done in the morning.”

Another common occurrence is that people will realize that they are having issues sleeping, so they will start doing things on their phone, like opening a game on their phone to pass the time or going onto social media to catch up on the lives of people they follow.

“Apps like TikTok are designed to keep you wanting more,” Bauer said. “It is very easy to get on an app like that and lose track of time. Then you spend an hour or more just scrolling through nonsense because the next one might be good or funny. This is the same for video games. It turns into just one more game several times.”

Preparing for sleep does not have to be something you just do at night. There are things you can do throughout the day to make sleeping easier.

“If you go from never exercising, or very little exercise, to exercising regularly, you will notice that you fall asleep faster, sleep better and wake up more refreshed,” Bauer said.

Overall, how you get ready for bed is up to you. Everybody has their own preferences and not everything mentioned will work for every person. However, it is important to try different methods, especially if you are having trouble sleeping.

“I think you have to find out what works for you,” Groves said. “People take sleep for granted. Take time to try different things to get a good night’s sleep. Shower at night, turn electronics off earlier, set a bedtime—not when you go to bed, but when you want to be asleep—and practice meditation techniques.”