Skip to content

Balancing School and Sleep: A Q&A

By Staff Writers Lauryn Daniels and Ethan Barber

The onset of a new school year means many things for the students of Timberline, including meeting new people, catching up with friends, learning new things, and for some people, trying to navigate an incredibly overstuffed schedule. With such busy schedules, students may often overlook getting enough sleep, which can impact how they do in school, sports and jobs.

The Blazer sat down with senior Elizabeth Yandle to get an inside perspective of her busy schedule and learn how she balances school and sleep. On a normal day during school volleyball season, Elizabeth wakes up at 6:00, attends her classes, then hustles right to practice for about two hours. Once school volleyball season’s out, club season is in, which means she has school, club volleyball, and a job to juggle. On those days she goes to work right after school from 2:30 to 6:30, then goes to practice from 7:00 to 9:00. How does she handle such a strenuous schedule? Here’s what she had to say:

Q: How do you balance such a busy schedule? 

A: Well for school volleyball season it’s a lot easier because I don’t work when it’s that time. But when it’s my volleyball season for club, it’s more of me just knowing my priorities, and knowing what I need to get done and stuff. So even with not getting home until 9:10pm, I try not to slack off. I try to just get home and do my homework right away, and try to go to bed at about midnight at least.

Q: What do you prioritize more, sleep or school? 

A: Definitely school. I try.

Q: How much sleep do you get on school nights? 

A: I would say about seven hours, maybe six on heavy nights of homework. 

Q: Do you ever feel sleep deprived because of the daily responsibilities you have?

A: Sometimes yeah. But normally no, because if I do have a lot of homework, and I look at the clock and it’s midnight, or 1am, I tell myself I’m going to go to sleep because I do play sports and I know that’s not healthy.

Q: Do you feel that if you lack sleep it affects the quality of your work? 

A: I do think so.I know that in class, I’m going to be dozing off or maybe even falling asleep. Or just thinking about how I want to get a coffee. 

Q: Where do you find motivation to keep going when you just feel like sleeping? 

A: Well, volleyball is the biggest thing in my life. So with school, I know that if I don’t have my grades in check, I can’t play. Volleyball is my outlet, so they balance each other out and kind of work together. So yeah, I would say school is my motivation, and even just like family, such as my parents too.

Q: What tips do you have for other students with busy schedules?

A: I would say just know your priorities, know what you want to get done, know what you are trying to accomplish out of it besides just graduating. The fact of knowing that you have an organized life and an organized schedule, it’s just a good life skill for the future.

Many students have schedules similar to Yandle’s, filled with extracurriculars, jobs, and the daily onslaught of homework. Getting a good night’s sleep with lives like these can be quite challenging, but with a little hard work, prioritization, and maybe even a little coffee here and there, it can be done.