When Wahlstrom began her research for Minnesota’s Edina School district regarding whether moving the school time from 7:20 to 8:30 a.m. would have any effect on the teenage students, she was skeptical. The Center For Applied Research and Educational Improvement ( CAREL) began a year long study on the school and the evidence was amazing. Students were attentive in their first period class, and the principal reported less punishing incidents in the hallways and classrooms, and the students expressed less depression and greater feelings of capability. While all this being said, in the 2011- 2012 school year, only 17.7% of the US middle and high schools meet at 8:30. 40% of the schools nationwide started before 8 am. This means that 40% of teens who attend middle and/or high school have to drag themselves out of bed and drag themselves to get ready before 8:00 am. The sleep requirement for teenagers is at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep, and yet the average American teenager is attaining less than 7 hours of sleep on a school night. The school day should start later for academical reasons, emotional and safety reasons, and health reasons.
Should teenagers obtain at least 8 hours of sleep, their health and safety would most likely be much better than it is now. When people lose sleep they lose their focus and abiltiy to concentrate. Car crashes are the number one cause for teenage deaths according to Kyla Wahlstrom, and she says this could all be prevented should teenagers get more hours of sleep. Even more beneficial, a recent report by the RAND cooperation evaluated the costs to our community of early school starting times for high school students in the terms of vanished income due to damaged academic and professional performance and car crashes for the teenagers who did not get a sufficient amount of sleep. The report calculated annual earnings to the US economy of almost $ 9.4 billion over the time span of 15 years if the students commerced school at 8:30 am. Not only is it more beneficial to non adolescents, but it will increase the safety of all teengers as well. It is necessary that the wellbeing of adolescents is taken into perspective and understood. Another reason that it is extremely important for teenagers to get sleep is because it affects their health. Teens who do not meet the sleep time requirements are more likely to be involved in drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. The situation of depression is likely to increase with less than nine hours of sleep. If everyone was aware that sleep affected the safety and health of teens, hopefully the starting time of school would change.
As teenagers struggle to get out of bed, it is not simply because of a assumed laziness but rather, a biological reason. Melatonin, a sleep hormone, is released by the brain to permit sleeping. In adults and preteens, melatonin is flexible unlike the teenage brain because of puberty. For virtually all teenagers, the release of melatonin is not released until 10:45 pm. The minimum amount of sleep is 8 hours, and should a student be going to bed at 10:45, they would have to wake up at 6:45. For many students, this is less than enough time they need to get ready for school. The side effects of sleep deprivation are memory issues, troubles with concentration and thinking, mood changes, weakened immunity system, lack of control( car accidents), high blood pressure, weight gain, poor balance, and lastly, risks for both heart disease and diabetes. These are serious effects and risks that students could obtain, not because of themselves, but because the school starting time is too early. Therefore, it is essential that the school time switches to at least 8:30 am or later.
Sleep, as said before, helps increase concentration and thinking, which is required for learning effectively. Should students not receive the essential 8-10 hours of sleep they need, they sacrifice their ability for academic achievement. Students will lose their ability to survive in stress, understanding and remembering information, and keeping focus. Obtaining a mere hour of sleep can affect student’s mentality, increasing their academic success.
Sleep is an essential need for all humans, but mostly in particular to a teenage mind, heath, and emotions. A growing body needs sleep to be healthy to perform its ordinary functions. Most teens know that they need to go to bed early, but the hormone Melatonin enables the teenagers to ignore and resist going to bed, and therefore, stay up later. The poor adolescent does not want to to go to bed, even at late times although it is necessary to go to bed. Adding an extra hour in a student’s sleeping times is an easy solution to help all these current problems teenagers face. Getting the right amount of hours increases the teen’s focus, which increases the safety of the student. Setting a later time for school would improve academics, and ensure safety, good health, and a healthy mentality for all high and middle schoolers.
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