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Waking Up Before High School Start Later Essay

As a high school student, I dream of the day my alarm does not magically wake me up at 5 a. m, to get ready for another seven- hour day at school. To me school is not so bad, a day of learning is fine by me. But waking up before the sun five days a week, no thank you. On school nights, I try to get roughly eight hours of sleep. No matter how early I go to bed, waking up at 5 a. m. does not get any easier. The human body depends on its biological clock, it is an internal system that controls our sleep cycle and cycle of numerous functions (You).

Adolescents have school and ocial responsibilities from sports, to homework, or extracurricular activities. At this age and time in a person’s life, sleep is especially important, it is the foundation of a healthy life. Studies have shown that the amount of sleep a specific age group gets is decreasing by -0. 71 minutes per year (Matricciani). A poll made by the National Sleep Foundation found that 80% of teenagers in the United States are getting less than the recommended nine hours of sleep on a school night (MPH). With little sleep, a teen’s health decreases.

Teen’s who are sleep eprived experience a change in behavior, cognitive ability, or academic performance. The lack of shut-eye can also increase the risk for early morning car accidents, lack of exercise, and an increased use of stimulants such as caffeine or prescription medications (MPH). However, a solution to this problem exists. In October 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a policy statement suggesting that school districts start school after 8:30 a. m. Currently, some schools start as early as 7 a. m. (Group). 44 states in the U. S. have experimented or changed heir school start times (Success).

In order to better the performance of teenagers, I propose that the Littleton Public School Board should change school start times. School districts that experimented with later start times found that students coped with academic workloads much better. Grades, test scores, and overall performance in core subjects advanced significantly when school start times were switched to later hours (Edwards). A study that included 9,000 students in three states conducted by the University of Minnesota showed that grades in science, math, English, and social studies all ncreased when school began at 8:35 or later (5 Pros).

A 2012 survey of North Carolina School Districts found that later start times correlated with higher scores in math and reading (Fischetti). On school days, when I hear my alarm ring at 5 a. m. I dread the idea of getting up and going to my morning classes rather than getting a few more minutes of shut-eye. I find myself pondering whether or not I should get up even though I went to bed early the night before. Sleep deprivation prevents the development of immune system function, meaning the less sleep one gets the more likely hey are to decrease their body’s ability to respond to colds and bacterial infections (Group).

Sleep loss not only plays a role in whether we get a cold or flu. It also influences how we fight illnesses once we have them. For example, our bodies fight infection with fevers. This happens while we sleep. When we are not sleeping our fever reaction does not happen (Mann). With less sleep, our bodies get less protection from vaccines because we develop fewer antibodies to certain vaccines. This means it takes longer for our bodies to respond to immunizations (Mann). Some people may do better with less sleep than others because they have a stronger immune system.

If you have a strong immune system, it may take longer for you to get run down if you are not sleeping,” says Susan Zafarlotfi, Ph. D. , clinical director of the Institute for Sleep and Wake Disorders at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. “Some people may be able to drink a cup of coffee from Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts and readjust. But if you have a weak immune system, you will likely be more prone to infection if you are not getting enough sleep” (Mann). Students who do not get enough sleep have a more likely chance of getting sick and are likely to stay home.

This leads to absences in school and more make up work for students to catch up in class. Adjusting school schedules to coincide with the natural sleep patterns of teenagers can improve their mood and attitude. A common belief is that adolescents are tired because they choose to stay up too late or are difficult to wake up in the morning because they are lazy (Schaffhauser). According to the National Sleep Foundation, daytime sleepiness can increase during the teenage years of a person’s life. At 16, the “biological wake time” is about 8 a. , so schools should start between 10 and 10:30 (Schaffhauser).

A teen’s circadian cycle or “biological clock” requires them to naturally stay up later and sleep later (Fischetti). Adolescents stay up for biological, not social, reasons. A later start time not only benefits students but also teachers. Some may worry that a later start time and release time will leave teachers with less time with their families (Eight). A later start time can allow teachers to spend more time with their family. Many teachers could have extra time for personal ctivities, such as sleep or exercise.

More sleep allows not only students but also teachers to be more alert and energetic in the classroom. Even with a later start time, some teachers may choose to arrive at school at the same time as before to plan and grade before school begins (Eight). (Incorporate interview with sawyer) Many think that students perform poorly academically because of a few reasons: the way a teacher teaches, the amount of homework they are given, or for slacking off. Many also think that it is normal for adolescents to not get enough sleep. We cannot deny that students feel obligated to participate in multiple extracurricular activities.

Students only do this to compile a long list of activities to put on their college resumes. Nor can we deny that we tell students to get involved because it is what colleges like to see on our resumes. While this view seems plausible at first glance, we should look closer at the real reason why students perform poorly in school. We perform badly because we students are not getting enough sleep. All throughout high school, we are told to get involved whether it is y playing a sport, joining a club, or simply meeting with friends.

We are told to eat a balanced meal, sleep eight hours a night, get good grades, and much more. We are expected to accomplish so much with so little time. Without the right amount of sleep, it becomes more difficult to achieve the tasks we are asked to do. I have been in school for nine years. I am used to waking up early, it is something I have to do. To me, school is important, it allows us to learn about many things such as our history, how to prepare for the real world, and who we are as students and as people.

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