Everyone would rather feel wide awake during as school day than to be falling asleep in class, unable to concentrate for the big final. Sleep is mandatory to everyone, and people depend on sleep to function every day. The amount of sleep a person gets throughout a night can affect their mind, making their abilities to remember, think, and learn harder. Due to their lack of melatonin, teenagers need the most sleep compared to adults. Although, they are the ones that have to wake up the earliest due to the early high school start times.
Statistics, facts and studies have shown that the time school starts for adolescents affects the teenager in many ways. Being sleep deprived doesn’t allow the teenager to function their best. The time high school starts is super early. High Schools around the world start at 7:15 A. M. or even earlier. Many teens get ready and take showers in the morning, causing them to wake up at least an hour before the bell rings. Many also miss breakfast due to running late by sleeping in. Some teens must wake up even earlier due to buses arriving early.
Hour long bus rides aren’t uncommon in some places. Usually, a student must be at their bus stop before the sun even rises because there are usually two bus routes. The bus route for teenagers going to high school is the earlier one, and the later is for students in elementary and middle school. A teenager’s natural tendency is to wake up late and go to sleep late (“School Start Time and Sleep”). The average time teenagers go to bed is 10:40 P. M… The usual cause that keeps teenagers awake at night is technology, such as cell phones, computers, or video games.
This causes the teen to stay awake longer due to the “Blue Light”, which affects levels of melatonin more than any other wavelength (“Q&A: Why Is Blue Light before Bedtime Bad for Sleep? “). This leaves adolescents with less than seven hours of sleep, an hour and a half less than the sleep that is necessary to perform at their best. “According to the National Sleep Foundation, 60% of students under the age of 18 claimed to be tired during a school day and 15% said they had fallen asleep in class before” (“School Start Time and Sleep”).
According to Wolfson and Carskadon’s 1998 study, “26 percent of high school students routinely sleep less than 6. 5 hours on school nights, and only 15 percent sleep 8. 5 hours or more” (Carpenter). In result to that, many adolescents try to sleep longer on weekends to “catch up” on their sleep hoping it will contribute to the tiredness they will feel the following Monday morning. There are many statistics that show how dramatic the effects of not getting enough sleep are on a teenager’s body. Sleep is important to a human, especially a teen’s, body. There is melatonin in every human’s body.
Psychology today’s Joseph Buckhalt defines melatonin “as the natural substance produced by the pineal gland that helps induce sleep, and among the many hormonal changes that accompany the onset of puberty is a delay in evening melatonin production” (Buckhalt). Many teens need extra sleep compared to adults due to the delay of melatonin during puberty. The insufficient amount of sleep that teenagers get because they have to wake up so early and have the natural instinct to go to bed late, “causes lowered ability to think, learn, and remember” (Buckhalt).
The amount of sleep that a teenager should get every night is eight and a half hours (Buckhalt). There are many positive results in the school system if teenagers do get the necessary eight and a half hours. Due to the article “School Start Time and Sleep”, there is an “increase in attendance when the student receives more sleep” (“School Start Time and Sleep”). This is because many students would rather skip school and sleep because of how tired they are instead of getting up and going.
The enrollment rate also all ogether rose because of the students not being as tired as they were with such an insufficient amount of sleep. The teenager’s awareness during the school day increased, and the reports of student depression lowered (“School Start Time and Sleep”). The grades of many students would raise, due the more sleep, they would do more homework because they would not be as sleepy when they got home from school. Also, the teenager will get more accomplishments done (such as chores) because instead of coming home and taking a nap, they would have energy.
The last positive result would be a teenager would be less likely to fall asleep during driving and wreck because they would not have such a lack of sleep, making them more aware at the wheel. The real question is, why has the school arrival time not changed already? This has many factors to it that school’s board of educations think are more important than sleep, the first being the demands for extracurricular activities (Buckhalt). Many students have activities outside of school that are not in any way connected to the school.
These start around 3:00 P. M. to 6:00 P. M. The problem with that would be if school started later, school would have to end later as well. If this would happen, the activities would have to later as well. Many individual activities would not have time without running until about ten or eleven at night. This would cause the students to go to bed even later than before, making the school’s starting time later not even beneficial. School-related activities would also need time for practices after school. These could all not get time in the school to practice every day.
Many coaches and players would then complain about not getting enough practice time and then if they got enough, the practices would go so late that the parent’s of the players would complain about how late they lasted. Another factor about why school arrival time hasn’t been pushed later would be that there are many transportation issues. Some student’s parents could not take their children if school started later because the parents have to still go to work early. This is the biggest issue in many people’s opinions. Many parents would not want to leave their child at home since some kids skip school if a parent is not home when they leave.
Many parents act like school is a baby sitter to their child during their work hours. The solution to this problem would be for the student to take the bus to school, although some buses do not stop at certain places where some students live, making that a problem as well. Also, a problem with starting school later is the customs of a culture. Some cultures begin their days early, and pushing the school arrival time later in the day could mess with their beliefs. For example, a religion may go to a church early in the morning and then go straight to school.
If the school time was pushed back, this could not happen. There are many different opinions, but many believe that the negative factors outweigh the positive, making Board of Educations’ choice to not push the school arrival time back. Sleep is important for every human’s body. Teenagers’ lack of melatonin because of them going through puberty makes more sleep than adults mandatory. The modern technology, homework, and other factors keep teens awake even longer than ever. This is the biggest reason that high school students should need to have a later school starting time.
Many statistics show that getting more sleep can improve an adolescent’s learning ability and mind all together. The time school starts should be delayed until at least 8:30 A. M. to 9:00 A. M to allow teenagers to get more sleep. This could cause many positive effects on not only the students, but also the school system. The amount of sleep teenagers get with the current school arrival time does not let them perform at the highest level. Although there are many negatives to delaying school arrival time, a student performing at their best has the longest lasting affect, and thus should be the most important factor.