Shaming teen night owls should end


Infographic by Savannah McMichael

Night owls stay up late during the night and early mornings to do assignments and tend to not get enough sleep. Drowsiness sets in during the daytime while at school, work and extracurricular activities outside of school.

Adults say teens at our age experiencing COVID-19 is the only major health crisis that we have witnessed. Assuming COVID is all we have dealt with is simply incorrect. With school, jobs, extracurricular activities, etc., teenagers have been dealing with a sleep deprivation epidemic for years. 

Webster’s dictionary defines a night owl as a person who is habitually active or wakeful at night.

According to Verywell Health, five to 10 percent of teens face Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS). Despite this, almost no attention is given to teens who struggle with sleep deprivation putting a more powerful strain on their health. Teens who face this overwhelming syndrome have a harder time focusing in school and completing any assignments needing to be done.

Being a night owl myself started because I have a job keeping me out until 10 p.m. On top of that, I have to do chores on the farm and complete my homework every night. I tend to stay up until 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. almost every night to try and finish any assignments and wake up at 7 a.m. Being up late is my only option to complete my school work because my daytime schedule is filled. 

Students just like me fill up the school; I know I am not the only one. Teachers do not fully understand students have a life outside of school, too. Filling up my schedule of homework and others puts way more stress on us than we should have. 

Night owls need to be more understood and less shamed. Constantly, we hear “Just do your homework and you will be fine”, or “You do not actually have to stay up late to get assignments done if you just focus”, but I am a very focused person. Instead of getting shamed for not having all of our things in place or being tired in school, we need to be listened to. 

On the other hand, teachers do not know the daily lives of students. Also, they do not know what other teachers are putting out for homework. With strong communication between all students and teachers, I believe communication and taking extra steps to help out struggling night owls could resolve a lot of issues of the reckless sleep schedule we as teens face. 

Teen night owls need to be more understood with our schedules after school life. Homework should not be piled up and handed out like a death sentence. Communicating with students about how much homework we already have in other classes should cut down what we do at home so no one is up late after work or any extracurricular activities. Night owls are all around in the school and are constantly struggling with the stress put upon them.