Student Sets Sleeping Record
by Kevin Wu
For many, it’s a dream. But for one teenager, it’s a reality.
A student of our very own Braintree High School, Koko Kevinmani, set a sleeping record for himself many have tried but failed to achieve: a whopping nine hours, continuous, uninterrupted. The achievement was set on Thursday of last week, from 9PM of the previous night to 6AM of the next day.
Many of his fellow classmates, myself included, had expressed disbelief upon learning of his accomplishment, but Kevinmani came into his first class appearing awake – even refreshed, energetic, actually eager to learn – without the scent of caffeine in his breath.
Kevinmani’s nine hours is a highlight among the sleeping habits of the typical high school student body; more than two-thirds of teenagers receive less than seven hours of sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Teenagers are very much notorious for staying up late at night – a tendency attributed to teen biology – but adequate sleep provides many benefits: lower stress, improved mood, healthier weight, stronger athletic performance, and a larger capacity to pay attention. A lack of sleep guarantees the reverse of those, and with school officials insistent on maintaining the early start time for schools, it seems this common problem will continue indefinitely.
Since Thursday, Kevinmani has been receiving a plethora of congratulations from fellow classmates, the majority asking him for advice on improving their own sleeping habits. When asked for his opinion on his achievement, Kevinmani replied, “Yeah, man … I mean, it’s not like it wasn’t easy … I’ve been trying to get nine hours of sleep on a school night for four years.”
“It took a lot of time and effort, but I finally managed to … last Thursday. I’m so proud of myself.”
But his effort did not come without sacrifices. To the horror of his teachers and his counselor, he woefully said, “I had to skip studying for that big physics test … I think I failed it. I also didn’t finish my homework – in fact, I didn’t start any of it that night.”
“I had sports, work. I mean, I already spent seven hours learning about this stuff. You’d think teachers should be able to teach in class, not out of it … Really, I’d very much like to be awake during the class too. I figured I made necessary and justified sacrifices.”
But not everyone agrees with him. As it happens, one of his teachers suggested punitive measures for Kevinmani’s record. Mr. Edison, a Braintree teacher of 11 years, remarked, “There should be no acclaim for this feat, a clear disregard for academia. Why should we applaud this sad trend, this turning away from Edisonian work ethic, when it carried us into the modern age? Sleep is a waste of time … a heritage from our cave days.”
“We must send a clear message by punishing such dangerous behavior … and nip the problem in the bud.”
Others were skeptical of the announcement. Another student at the school, Nomlah Iul, pointed out, “How can you be sure he actually slept that long, when everyone else is always staying up so late? Just look at him. You can’t actually tell if he’s awake with eyes open or just dozing off. I’m sure there was a mistake somewhere.” When asked for his own opinion on sleep, Iul responded, “Ain’t nobody got da time fo’ dat.”
Still, Kevinmani’s achievement will remain an inspiration for many others in their own high school struggles. In an interview, Mr. Robert Hehe of the National Sleep Foundation informed us, “The recommendation of nine and one-fourth hours of sleep for teenagers is just that – a recommendation. We didn’t actually expect a student to be able to accomplish that. To hear of Kevinmani’s monumental struggles to achieve what someone should have every night is particularly moving.”
In other news, Harvard University has announced the cancellation of Kevinmani’s enrollment for undisclosed reasons.
Kevin Wu is a student in Advanced Placement English Language and Composition