[Letters] Student sleep crisis

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[Letters] Student sleep crisis

How many hours do you sleep a day? Eight hours? Or seven hours? Maybe six hours? I attend Cheongshim International Academy and I sleep six hours a day. The reason I came to write this letter is because Korea’s middle school students don’t have enough time to sleep. According to Statistics Korea in a survey conducted in 2007, our country’s students sleep an average of 8.11 hours every day. However, students in America, England and other first-world countries sleep 9.2 hours. Although it may not seem like a big deal, it is actually very serious. Because they lack sleep, students tend to sleep or daydream in class. They also are much more stressed out than their peers from around the world.

The main reason for this is Korea’s famous hagwon, or private academies. Many middle schoolers go to hagwon until 9 or 10 p.m., and come back home late and tired. They then study until midnight or 1 a.m. As a result, our fatigued students take out their stress on others, don’t eat as much as they should and sometimes sleep in class. The lack of sleep also stunts your growth, and you may miss a critical period of development because you were on the desk everyday, figuring out how to solve a trigonometry problem instead of being snug and comfortable in your bed.

I feel that although the time you put in your studies is important, the effort that you put into it is essential. Working out and doing physical activities will help you sleep a deep, dreamless sleep. Finally, I think that we should reduce the overwhelming amount of private education and increase the amount of physical and outdoor activities. This way, we can sleep well and increase the efficiency of our academic studies.

Kim Young-suh, Student at Cheongshim International Academy

e-mail to eopinion@joongang.co.kr or via fax to 82-2-751-9219
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