A Healthier Future

The key components to a better lifestyle

Although many students are aware of the importance of sleep and a healthy diet, the time consuming activities that come with being a teenager make meeting an ideal sleep schedule and diet seem almost impossible. Getting enough sleep and eating a proper diet is key in adolescents reaching their highest potential, whether it be in athletics or academics.

A board-certified pediatrician in Ventura, Dr. Carey Chronis, said the recommended amount of sleep “for a high school student is over nine hours, [but] in reality, most get about seven hours.”

Oxnard High School senior Daniel Siu gets about seven and a half hours of sleep every night, which he says factors into his daily feeling of being sluggish and tired. Siu, who is at the top of his senior class, admits his lack of sleep is due to academics, as his schedule consists of four advanced placement classes and he participates in Academic Decathlon.

Dr. Chronis said, “A person is not as smart when deprived of sleep,” as lack of sleep results in a slow mind and forgetfulness. He also added “lack of sleep ages the skin, is hard on the heart and can lead to weight gain.”

Not only does sleep affect the outcome of a student’s day, but an improper diet can take a negative toll on them as they are more susceptible to being cranky and lethargic.

OHS sophomore and two-sport athlete Genesis Aguilar only eats two meals a day and does not bring lunch to school. In result from the missed meal, Aguilar said she is “drowsy and tired” on a daily basis.

On the other hand, OHS junior and triathlete Justin Terrill eats four meals a day and is filled with energy during practice. Terrill incorporates fruits and vegetables, as well as protein in the morning and after practice, a diet he believes is most optimal for athletic and academic performance.

Clearly, food consumption plays a vital role in energy levels, and a poor diet not only diminishes energy, but may also lead to “diabetes, heart disease, depression, cancer, tooth decay, and more” said Dr. Chronis.

If students want to meet suggested nutritional requirements, they should follow the basic guideline of starting with “five servings of fruits and vegetables each day” and the remainder should be “made up of healthy proteins and starches,” according to Dr.Chronis.
The suggested amount of sleep, a healthy diet, and exercise are evidently essential components to preserve one’s body for the present and future.