Senior Austin Layne drinks a Bang Energy before school to get a caffeine boost after only getting four hours of sleep. Staff photo taken by Dylan O’Hara.

In order to combat the effects of sleep deprivation, many NDP students turn to energy drinks and other forms of caffeine to stay awake throughout the day.

A multitude of NDP students drink energy drinks on a regular basis, but it is important that they find healthier alternatives to feel more awake during the day. Research finds that energy drinks should only be consumed in moderation, as even just one drink per day could produce serious health issues over time, including heart disease, according to a Mayo Clinic study.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), “Large amounts of caffeine may cause serious heart and blood vessel problems such as heart rhythm disturbances and increases in heart rate and blood pressure.” While it is safe to drink an energy drink on rare occasions in order to stay awake, it should not become a habit for students to drink energy drinks every day.

Despite the health risks that energy drinks provide, some students have no choice but to frequently drink these beverages due to intense workloads. Junior Christian Galia, who is an honor and AP student, said, “Bang tastes really good and I need to drink it to stay up late so I can finish my homework.”

In contrast, many NDP students are aware of the dangers posed by energy drinks and only drink them when absolutely necessary. In a recent poll, students reported their opinions on energy drinks. One student said, “I think that energy drinks are okay if you use them every once in a while, but they should not be drunk every day.” This attitude lines up with what experts in the field say, as drinking energy drinks only becomes a problem when consumption becomes a daily habit.

Senior Ben Linnenkamp, who very rarely drinks energy drinks, said, “Energy drinks, while a viable option for quick energy to complete a task, can be unhealthy and cause long term damage.”

Linnenkamp’s awareness of the unhealthy nature of energy drinks has allowed him to find healthier ways to combat sleep deprivation when he gets too little sleep the night before. Instead of drinking energy drinks, Linnenkamp takes naps after school, with which he said, “[Napping] is a great way to replenish my energy after a long day at school, and it helps me focus when I decide to do homework.”

Napping is the healthiest and most natural way for a person to feel more energized. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “Naps can increase alertness in the period directly following the nap and may extend alertness a few hours later in the day.” Napping provides many benefits, including increased alertness, improved performance in activities, and reduced stress levels.

While sometimes it is a necessity to drink energy drinks for long nights of studying and doing homework, it is important to avoid these beverages whenever possible. Even just a brief, 40-minute nap can make a person feel just as awake as an energy drink would.