PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 April, 2009, 12:00am

Sleep is crucial to a healthy life

I am writing to express my opinion on living a healthy life.

I used to think doing exercise and eating healthy food every day meant you were leading healthy life. I'm sure many people think the same.

But since I started rowing regularly a year ago, I realised there is a more important element.

Although I was rowing five days most weeks, and forcing myself to eat lots of fruit and vegetables, I had a high fever several times this year.

I realised that, although I was getting plenty of exercise and good food, I wasn't sleeping enough.

I had to wake up very early as I sometimes started training at 6am. But I didn't force myself to go to bed early. Experts recommend at least eight hours' sleep a night, but I was getting only five or six.

If you find yourself tired at school and unable to perform as well as you should, maybe you aren't sleeping enough. Maybe it's time to start scheduling your bedtime.

With the HKCEE on its way, it is especially important to ensure we get enough sleep so that we can concentrate on the exams. While we must revise, it's also very important to make time to sleep.

Good luck - and sweet dreams!

Mo Chun-yan, Sha Tin Tsung Tsin Secondary School

Useful skills learned from school project

My school recently held a Learning Activity Day. I found this event very useful.

I started the day by interviewing am optometrist in Shau Kei Wan as I was doing a project related to glasses. The optometrist gave me his professional advice on choosing and wearing glasses, and tips on protecting the eyes.

It was the first time I had interviewed a professional adult. I was very nervous at first, but I soon relaxed.

After the interview, my group mates and I went to Causeway Bay to survey members of the public about their glasses-wearing habits.

We completed more than 100 questionnaires. We received a wide range of answers, which were very interesting and useful for our project.

The activity gave me the chance to get the information I needed for my project in a more interesting way than simply researching online.

Conducting an interview and questioning members of the public were very helpful experiences.

Cheng Yin-lee, The Chinese Foundation Secondary School

Help end poverty in Hong Kong

While many people in Hong Kong may live in beautiful homes in the Mid-Levels, there are an astonishing number of people living on the streets or in very basic conditions. Many people live below the poverty line and need our help.

These underprivileged people are unemployed or have low-paying jobs. They may have a low level of education and so cannot earn much.

Their living conditions are often very poor. They may lack basic facilities such as access to electricity or water.

What's more, the lack of money often means children have to get a part-time job while they are still at school.

If they don't have time to study, they won't pass their exams and will be forced to follow their parents into low-paying, unskilled jobs.

Such difficulties and worries can lead to family disputes and even violence. Many people in such situations suffer from low self-esteem and depression.

This is a very serious problem and the government should help people in this situation. The government seems to care more about the middle classes and issuing tax refunds. That money could be used to help the poor.

The government should also increase the amount available under the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance scheme so underprivileged families can have better living standards.

I hope the problem can be solved soon.

Stephanie Lam, Shun Lee Catholic Secondary School