“One time, when I was trying to stay awake, I couldn’t and I fell asleep hfter bobbing my head. When I woke up, I felt back pain, lower back pain, neck cramps, and forehead aches, “ said Cory Scheviak, a senior.
New research has shown that sleeping with the head down on the desk will cause the spine to bend slightly, which could eventually lead to scoliosis or spinal curvature. Most high school desks at Leesville Road High School are too small for the students’ frames, so kids must cramp to fit in and sleep.
Harris Langley, a senior, says he blames the school for his problems. “I sleep twice a day. After I stay up all night doing homework, if the classes are boring, I tend to fall asleep with my head on the desk.”
Langley does believe that sleeping on the school desks have caused some of his physical ailments. “I’m in a fetal position with my neck and stuff. I always feel like my spinal cord got dislocated.”
When a high school student puts his or her head down on a desk, the spine bends at an average angle of 22 degrees from the top of the desk. Students who rest in this position for multiple hours should expect some form of deformities in the future.
“I’ve known Harris for a while,” said Scheviak, “and that kid sleeps a lot at school. I think the way he walks by bobbing up and down might be a result of that. However, one time I knew this kid who could sleep upright.”
Sleeping upright may be a solution for avoiding spinal problems. In fact, some research shows that sleeping upright may be beneficial for the body. The lungs receive maximum expansion to allow for easier breathing. The body weight will continue to press on the spine just as in the daytime, so the result may not feel very rest worthy.
“I mean the point of sleep is to get rest, but if I can avoid spinal complications, I’d give up rest any day and wake up tired,” explained Scheviak.
Perhaps the best way to avoid any spinal mutations would be to stay awake in school.