While hearing your alarm clock go off at six o’clock in the morning, and pushing the snooze button a couple of times you must force yourself to get up. This is what many teens experience during the school year. Most teens do not get enough sleep due to sports, homework and other commitments. Is it right that students have to stay up extra late and are sleep deprived due to the amount of homework teachers assign? No, something needs to be fixed. Scientists are finding that the lack of sleep in teens can cause depression, substance abuse, poor grades, and sport injuries (Boston Children’s Hospital). The main contribution to this problem is that schools start too early in the morning. If high schools and middle schools start later, then teens will perform better on tests and receive better grades.
In the article, “Medical experts agree, secondary students start too early” Christina Corrales-Toy states that: “only thirty- two percent of American teens reported getting at least eight hours of sleep on an average school night according to the American Medical Association.” In other words, this means that the other students are sleep deprived and may not perform as well in school. Teens who get less than six hours of sleep can have depression and anxiety (Corrales-Toy). These are serious problems that can be fixed by schools starting later. Many teens are on a sleep cycle where their body tells them to stay up late and sleep in. Some teens even have to drink energy drinks or caffeine in the morning so they can stay awake throughout the day due to a lack of sleep. This can cause some health problems down the road because people can get addicted to caffeine. Some people believe that high schools should start around 8:00 a.m. and middle schools should start around 8:10 a.m. (Corrales-Toy). Savannah Light from Decatur Central High School said “I definitely notice that I have gone from mostly being in class to being active and being a part of the class and part of the conservation” (Nguyen). In others words, Savannah Light saw an improvement in her classes due to a later start time which allowed her to get more sleep.
I believe that starting the school day a little later would make a difference. When I am tired in school, I have a difficult time focusing and comprehending the information. A later start time would benefit me because I would feel more alert and ready to learn. Some of the reasons why school districts do not want to have a later start time because it could impact sport teams, student work schedules and the buses (Boston Children’s Hospital). Schools can work around this and starting a sporting event ten to twenty minutes later is not a big deal. A solution to this problem is that the state could mandate that all high schools and middle schools start at 8:00 a.m. or later. Trust me, teachers and parents will see an improvement in students’ tests and grades if schools start later.
Boston Children’s Hospital. “Later start times better for high school students: Poor self-regulation in teens linked to circadian rhythms: Findings support later start times for middle schools and high schools.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 November 2016.
Corrales-Toy, Christina. “Medical Experts Agree, Secondary Students Start Too Early.” The Issaquah Press. The Issaquah Press, 03 Nov. 2016. Web. 06 Nov. 2016.
Nguyen, By Vi. “School District Sees Success with Late Start for High School Students.” WISHTV. LIN Television of Texas, 27 July 2016. Web. 09 Nov. 2016.