3 Tips for Getting Enough Sleep to Survive until the Next Long Break

Sleep EmergencyMost of you aren’t reading this between the hours of 7AM and 3PM in your respective time zones.  That’s because, as you are surely aware, school has once again started; thus, this means that you are likely asleep for the majority of that timeframe. Those of you who do not spend this time asleep might be thinking: wait a minute, aren’t teens supposed to be awake at school?

In which case, I’ll answer that the way any competent politician would: “Well, that perception of ‘when to sleep’ depends on a number of things. The primary heart of the issue is [other political party, like the Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Rugrats, Librarians, etc.], and their partisan, anti-progress policy of [political policy that sounds bad, like the Death Tax, Anti-Free-Choice, anything with Nixon’s name in it, Anti-cute-little-animals, the Owning-a-Toothbrush Tax, etc.]. If you elect me/give me money/trash-talk my opponents, I can try to fix that.”  Did you follow that answer? No? Good.

But now that we’ve hit such a dismal patch of school, the time when the soonest break is months away (and it’s a break for only one week, not two), some of us may lose our resolve.  We may be sitting at our desks, peacefully doing our homework, when it hits us.  We’ll throw our pencils against the wall, slam our books down, and indignantly stand up, opening our mouths to make a righteous statement about our overwork-ed-ness. “This is,” we’ll begin, “unjustly-“ CRASH! We’ll fall over, unconscious from lack of sleep.

When this horrible scenario in mind, I decided it would be good if you had a few tips on how you should survive until spring break, or even summer, without giving up your chances of obtaining a high school diploma.

Sleep Efficiency

You may have heard the saying: 20% of the work gets 80% of the results (the Pareto Principle); it’s the idea that one task you do is more efficient than other tasks (getting you more results per minute spent), so you should spend lots of time doing that one task.  I, along with a panel of Nobel scientists consisting of a dead mosquito I found on the windowsill and a struggling-to-stay-alive house plant, see no reason why you can’t apply this to sleep.

If 20% of your sleep gets 80% of your ‘tired-ness’ away, then why not just sleep that 20% way the whole time? Sure, you might not be able to distinguish what portion of your sleep that is, and our scientific theory may be flawed (which is likely the orchid’s fault, assuming it isn’t yet dead; or, if it is dead, is definitely the orchid’s fault), but boy does this theory sound great on paper.  If you spent 40% of your current needed-sleep-time sleeping the 20% way, then you would get 160% of your needed sleep!

Sleep More

If you are, for some reason, unable to sleep more efficiently, then you definitely need to sleep more than you did these first few days back at school.  But how, you ask, are you going to find the time with all your homework, extracurricular activities, and devoted worship of High School Humor Blog? My answer to that is: don’t ask any more questions, or I’ll pull out my political formula again.

Actually, there’s lots of untapped time for sleep in the average day.  What about on the school bus, if you can tear yourself away from the duct tape in front of you? You could sleep during any art classes, claiming that you were “inventing a new abstract expression of creativity by creating art while unconscious, allowing the subtle nuances of your subconscious to flourish.” (Regardless of whether or not your art teacher accepts that, it’s sure to send her for a dictionary, which will buy you another five minutes of sleep, at the least). You could also sleep:

  • While your computer boots up (the only advantage to owning a computer running Windows)
  • During the time between when you hit ‘enter’ and your calculator gives you an answer
  • By pausing to sleep for one second every time you blink

Sleep Better

If you really don’t have any more time, and you can’t figure out how to sleep more efficiently, than you can still try to sleep better.  What I mean by that is, make your sleeping a better experience.  There is absolutely no scientific evidence to support this at all (even the dead mosquito disagrees with me here), though, so don’t just take my word for it: try it, because there is no way to verify if this works or not.

To make your sleeping a better overall experience, spare no expense.  Buy a $40,000 mattress made of whatever makes some people think a mattress is worth $40,000.  Take goose-down pillows a step further; slap some pillowcases over live geese (it’s like a massage pillow, kind of, except one that it honks, bites, walks, and poops).  Throw live silkworms on your sheets, essentially giving you the freshest silk available.  Build a small creek next to your bed, complete with frogs, fish, and small songbirds, to give you naturally relaxing noises (plus, you can keep your geese-pillows here during the day).

I know that before you read this, you thought you were going to remain sleep-deprived for the rest of your high-school career.  Now, after reading this, you think you are going to not only remain sleep-deprived, but slowly become as delirious about sleep as I am.  Well, that’s not the case.  I was only kidding.  We all know that there are two advantages to owning a Windows computer; I left out the great application known as Internet Explorer.

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  1. vilite246 says:

    First off, I’m reading this on the bus at 6:58. AM. On my bus. So I guess you’re right about the whole not reading this between 7AM and 3 PM is right. I guess. (Cough) Anyway, when you said that we can sleep on the bus, you didn’t think about my bus. It’s not sleepable (for humans). Yes, I am implying something. Moving on, my bus is filled with “hip” 9th graders, snotty 10th graders, crabby 11th graders and worst of all, responsible 12th graders *shudder*. Heh. They all talk too much, too loud and too wierd. (I don’t want to say what they talk about to preserve the PG rating of this blog. And plus, my mother and father only approved of this blog and me commenting because it was PG, it didn’t have any bad words, and they were half asleep. No offense. My parents don’t like racism, making fun of politics, politics, making fun of racism, political racism, etc. So this is the blog they let me read. Wow.) There’s no way to entertain yourself, because we have 2011 buses, and they’re all new and schmancy and have no duct tape. And you can’t sleep because of everyone and the fact that if you close your eyes, your eyelids may freeze shut since it’s colder here than it is outside (Outside the bus, it’s 8 degrees). And I have Windows 7, the really fast one. And my calculator is inside my head, because I take honors math of the grade ABOVE me and you have do everything on paper and calculators aren’t allowed. But I’ll try improving my sleep. Yup.

    • Well, I’m sorry to hear about your predicament (2011 buses don’t come with sleeper-seats? Wow, the designers must be out of touch with their demographic). However, I hear that hypothermia can make it easier to sleep. Assuming you don’t want to wake up. But hey, if you don’t wake up, then you just get infinity amounts of sleep, right? (Note to any teen or anyone else reading this who doesn’t have common sense: please try not to die of hypothermia. That was a joke. This note is not a joke. When I told you that this was not a joke, that was not a joke, either).

      • vilite246 says:

        HAHAHAHA. That’s hilarious. Coincidentally, today, one of my teachers was out of school because they have hypothermia. Rumor has it she fell into a lake yesterday. So we got this crabby teacher who had a 100 year old phone that forced you to sleep while waiting, because it took forever to turn on. That’s what he told us. (I know, right?). And since he’s going to be here for the rest of the week, my friend is holding one of our sub’s books hostage in her house. She made a video and emailed it to the teacher. It was really funny. Anyways, the schmancy bus drivers on my schmancy bus that goes to my not-so-schmancy school with not-schmancy teenagers aren’t really good about the whole keeping the bus quiet thing. So we can’t sleep. Yup. But I heard that someone put that sleeper-seat idea (and toilets that are automatically installed in the seat, and back rubbers as well) to Congress for this year. They say it wasn’t vetoed by the president, but seeing his approval rating, no one wants to listen to him. And plus, if people really wanted that stuff, they would ask foreign countries for money, sorry, loans, and we could design for the bus companies. I have this really cool design with like pillows and really geese and laptops and coffee makers and fold out beds and stuff. Maybe things will change this “new” year. (And we all know how life changing 2012 is going to be. Except for the end of the world.) By the way, your posts are hilarious. Just thought I’d put that out there.

        • A 100 year old phone? And you took the book hostage? Which has a greater ransom value, do you think? (The answer is: it is irrelevant. Gum has such a high ransom value that it dwarfs them both). I hope that somebody somewhere decides to make those souped-up school buses. Even if they cost more than the cost of sending everyone who rides the buses to college. And the cost of everyone’s first house. And maybe even throw in a firstborn child or two. Thanks for the kind words.

  2. I’m at lunch right now. And I read this. And I couldn’t stop laughing. I’m going to try it. Getting some sleep in the time between pressing enter on your calculator and getting the answer sounds very efficient. I WOULD get some sleep while my computer boots up, but I have a Mac so that isn’t even possible. It’s mad fast. Meh. That’s like, the first time I have ever wished I didn’t have a Mac computer. Wow. Hahaha. Phil, no joke, you make me crack up so hard every time I read one of your posts!!

    • Well, you could see if you can find a really old Mac computer, to slow things down. You could even use a live mouse instead of a computer mouse, which means your clicks would have no effect (if you have to log into a user account), giving you lots of extra time. And you could name your mouse “Mac.” Also, can I interest you in a stone-and-chisel TI-83? Thanks for the nice compliment, by the way.

  3. right now im currently a sophomore in high school and after getting back from winter break i was ready for spring break and summer. we then took finals last week and had a 3 day school week, a also went to new york for dance this past weekend and am still feeling tired and ready for school to be over. almost everyday me and my friends in the morning complain about how tired we are and how ready we are for school to end. every night i seem to stay up later and later because i am at dance, work or watching tv and every morning it gets harder and harder to wake up. seeing your ideas has shown me a new way to get my extra sleep time in. maybe now ill actually be able to get up in the morning(:

    • Glad that these could help you, Danielle.

      *The medical/sleep value of these tips have not been evaluated by the FDA, or CIA, or NBA, or whichever government organization evaluates statements about sleep techniques.


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