Virtually everyday high school students are waking up around six o’clock in the morning to get ready for school, some even earlier than that. Just about every morning students are waking up without adequate sleep. If sleep is one of the most essential needs of the body in order to grow and develop, shouldn’t we be more aware of how much it affects students everyday performance? The ways in which students are affected by sleep-deprivation is precisely why school needs to start later.
Schools that start before 8 a.m. are a major reason students aren’t getting adequate sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers need on average 8 ½ - 9 ½ hours of sleep a night(Schute, Nancy). Realistically students rarely get that much sleep. When students don’t get adequate sleep it has the ability to affect their attention span, memory, problem-solving ability, and mood(Rosenberg, Russell). Are these students actually expected to pay attention, learn, solve problems, and maintain an acceptable attitude when they wake up sleep deprived? Among a sleep cycle that changes once students hit puberty and an increase in the production of melatonin its nearly impossible for teens to fall asleep before 10:30 p.m.(Edwards, Finley). In my own experience I don’t even get tired until around 11:30 p.m. and barely fall asleep before 12, so it makes it extremely difficult to wake up at 6 a.m. and prepare for the day.
Pushing school start times back could produce negative consequences. Later start times would put buses on the roads closer to rush hour, affect families’ child care arrangements, and whether or not students can work part-time(Monaco, Michael). Acknowledging the negative consequences, the percent of people t...
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...sportation costs by using fewer buses(Edwards, Finley). Money gained by increased student performance from pushing the start time back could be used toward transportation costs. The number of bus routes, the cost, and the number of buses are all contributing factors in why schools are reluctant to change their start time(Erbacher, Megan). These factors may be important in deciding how to change start times, they shouldn’t however, determine the school day. Fleets of buses are often shared between elementary, middle and high schools throughout the day(Erbacher, Megan). Changing the start time in a high school should also change the start time of accompanying middle and elementary schools to where they maintain the same intervals between them.
Conclusion: The ways in which students are affected by sleep-deprivation is precisely why schools need to start later.
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