Beauty sleep actually works. The old saying “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise” isn’t just folklore; and, when it comes to sleep, eight is not always enough. The National Sleep Foundation says teenagers need between eight hours and 30 minutes and nine hours and 15 minutes of sleep a night to function at their best. Most teens only get seven hours and 15 minutes a night. The dangers of sleep deprivation include irritability, difficulty concentrating, greater risk for accidents, and a reduced energy level.
Here are a few tips from the NSF for healthier sleeping habits:
Establish a consistent schedule for the time you go to bed and wake up.
Learn how much sleep you need to awake feeling refreshed, and be sure to get it.
As soon as you get out of bed, get into some daylight. Light helps our bodies know when it’s time to wake up.
Schedule some “down time” before you go to bed, so you can be relaxed enough to fall asleep.
Don’t fall asleep with the TV on. The flickering light will interfere with your restful sleep. Better yet, don’t delay bedtime to watch TV or surf the Internet.
Always avoid all-nighters. A good night’s sleep will be of more use to you on a test than last-minute cramming will.
Never drive when you are sleepy.
“One of the first principles we must keep in mind is that the work of the Lord goes forward through assignments. Leaders receive and give assignments. This is an important part of the necessary principle of delegating. No one appreciates a willing volunteer more than I, but the total work cannot be done as the Lord wants it done merely by those doing the work who may be present at meetings. I have often wondered what the earth would look like if the Lord in the Creation had left the work to be done only by volunteers. … Assignments always should be given with the greatest love, consideration, and kindness” (James E. Faust, Ensign, Nov. 1980, 34).
A call to his high school principal’s office did not mean trouble for Kelter Stenzel Fittipaldi, of the Curitiba Brazil São Lourenço Stake. Kelter did not have the best grades in school, but his principal said he exhibited good behavior and good fellowship. He had been selected to represent his school. He would be going to Chile with the possibility of meeting the president of that country.
Besides the gifts the school had prepared for the Chilean president, Kelter and his mother wrapped a special gift in gold paper for him—a Book of Mormon. But only four out of the fifty high school delegates from various countries would actually get to meet the president. Kelter prayed he would be able to give his gift, and his prayers were answered. He was one of the four. “Of the gifts I presented to the President of Chile, the golden gift was the most precious of all,” he said.
The Lord counsels us to “seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith” (D&C 88:118).
Here’s another reason to turn off the television and pick up a good book: In 1950, the average number of words in a 14-year-old’s vocabulary was 25,000. But today? Only 10,000, according to an MSNBC poll. Students who read every day have better vocabularies and higher reading scores than those who don’t. And a higher reading level leads to better grades and better jobs (National Assessment of Educational Progress).
If you’re already a good reader, you could volunteer at a literacy program near you, where you can help others with their reading skills.