Are students today getting the proper amount of sleep? The subject is so relevant these days that it was the main topic of discussion at a psychology class at McDowell High School. 12News talked with a few of the students and asked them if they feel they are getting enough sleep to function properly in class.

"I usually go to bed between 12 and 1. And I get up between 5 and 6. So I don't sleep enough," said Nicole Sanfillippo.

"I have a job," said Kara Matteo, "and I usually work 5 to 5 and a half hour days. It's just crazy because, when I come home, I have three or more hours of homework.  No time for my friends and family," she said.                                                                                                               

Scarlett Miller added, "I think most of us, especially since it's our senior year, are trying our hardest to achieve the highest we can get to. Rank. Grades. I don't want to say teachers should put less on us, but we're very pressured right now.  We're definitely sacrificing sleep to get everything happy and set."

Even students who do not have a heavy class load, or a job, sometimes find themselves on the computer late at night, or on their cell phone.  The lack of sleep lessens their attention span.

"You can see that early in the morning. First period or second period. Ask any teacher. They will tell you they see the tops of heads more than they see their eyes," says Dr. John Flamini, of Neurology Associates of Erie.

Flamini says most students are getting one hour less sleep than they need, even though the proper amount of sleep varies for each individual. One student can get by on six hours, while another will need much more.

"I probably get at least 8 hours," said Mc Dowell Senior Harrison Hewett. "I try to go to bed at 9. Sometimes I stay up a little after, but I always try to get at least 8 hours of sleep."

High school is a busy time, and today, more than ever, students are trying to fit some important sleep into their schedules.