Article by: Sunaina Ahuja
Photographs by: Sung Yun Bae
Whether overachievers, procrastinators, or both, students in ISM often find themselves lacking sleep on weekdays. Under the rigorous IB curriculum, in combination with extracurricular activities and social life, many students find themselves unable to cope with their hectic schedules and suffer from poor time management. In effect, the lack of sleep often leads to extra stress for the student, which induces fatigue and exhaustion.
Since ISM heavily integrates the use of laptop in its education, most students are on their laptops right until the moment they go to sleep, either finishing last minute work or surfing the net. This is actually detrimental towards the student’s sleep, as the bright light of the laptop signals the brain to release a hormone called melatonin, which consequently causes the brain to be awake, thus making it difficult for the person to sleep. Senior, Becky Chung, attests to suffering from this problem, saying: “I am on my laptop most of the time before I go to sleep. And now that I think about it, when I go to bed, I don’t get sleep immediately, but instead I need to wait for at least an hour for it to dawn on me. It’s quite frustrating because it wastes my sleep time.”
It should not be surprising that given the advanced technology in our world today, there exists something that can solve this academically influenced insomnia: Sleepow. Numerous researchers in neurophysiology have found that relaxing music, such as two tones being played at slightly different frequencies in each ear, can play an important role in reducing stress levels and promoting relaxation. The Sleepow is apparently the world’s first pillow of this kind, with a stereo sound machine, which contains a mini-USB port for recharging and uploading of mp3 files and an audio jack for private listening with headphones. No wires or portable media players are needed. The user simply has to press one button and quickly drift off into a deep, relaxing slumber.
When asked about the potential shift in technology senior Melika Carlson, shares her opinion, saying. “I’m really excited to start using it, because there are times when I do suffer from insomnia. I think it’s a great invention, and it definitely should be advertised in high schools more.” Though the effectiveness of the pillow still has to be determined, such developments in technology have the potential to make the high school student body a more rested and productive workforce.