Sleep Deprivation At School

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Although some teens will stay up later, it is natural for them to do so.  According to UCLA Health, as teens go through puberty their circadian rhythm shifts a couple hours later meaning their bodies become programmed to fall asleep around 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. Having a late start will benefit many teens because it aligns better with their natural “clock” and will allow them to catch up on their sleep throughout the week. Sleeping in on weekends is an insufficient way to attempt to offset all of the sleep we lose during the week; if anything, it makes it more difficult to fall asleep on Sunday nights, contributing to the never-ending cycle of sleep deprivation.

Although critics believe that extracurriculars will be negatively affected by this change, it is no comparison to the benefits students can gain from having more sleep. Students will have more energy to participate, which will help them perform better. Being well rested, they are less likely to get sick or injured because of a compromised immune system. In addition, ending at a later time will allow parents to pick up their kids after work without having to pay for an after school care service.

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Having a later start time will allow students to gain more sleep. Many students dislike school because they have to wake up so early. By starting later more students will be open and excited to go to school knowing they get to sleep in. After all, many of us suffer from sleep deprivation and are walking zombies around campus. Teenagers need about nine to nine and a half hours of sleep each night, however most teenagers are only getting about seven hours or less (Nationwide Children). Getting a full eight or nine hours of sleep is like winning the lottery. Nearly impossible, but the idea is wonderful. If teens were to sleep a sufficient amount of hours they would be more engaged and alert during class. Student’s academic performance will also improve because they are more focused and efficient in the classroom.

Many students’ mental health will be improved if school started later. Starting later decrease the stress and anxiety kids face trying to get to school on time. The extra time would also help decrease student tardiness and possible absences. The constant exhaustion student’s feel because of the lack of sleep leaves them susceptible to developing sleeping disorders such as insomnia. Sleep and mood are closely linked. Have you ever noticed how we are more cranky, stressed, and tired when you do not get enough sleep? When I don’t get enough sleep I tend to be in a short-tempered mood. However, when I do get enough sleep I am a much happier and energetic person. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found “that subjects who were limited to four and a half hours of sleep reported feeling more sad, angry, stressed, and mentally exhausted”(qtd. Harvard University) . Getting more sleep is the quickest solution to fixing these problems.  


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