Its 7:30 am. You’re a junior in high school and you’re driving to school. You didn’t get a lot of sleep last night since you were studying for you physics test. You’re only half asleep when suddenly… BAM! You feel the car you hit from the front. Did you know that 12% of the drivers who were involved in fatal car accidents were teens from ages 15 to 19? Kids are sleepy in the morning and this makes them more prone to car accidents. If school started later, kids in middle and high school could get more sleep. Schools should shift their time so that they begin later in the morning and end later in the afternoon because the amount of sleep they get can affect their health, safety, and academic performance.
The amount of sleep a student gets can affect their physical and mental health. Due to lack of sleep, kids could get diabetes. “Your body does not do as well controlling blood sugar when you do not get enough sleep” (Vorvick). Due to staying up late, the sugar stays in your body and can then cause you to get diabetes. As for mental health, teens are more likely to be in a moody state having to wake up at 7AM, whereas if they woke up at 8AM or 9AM they would be more well-rested and in a better mood. According to the Department of Health & Human Services, lack of sleep “can have dramatic effects on a teenager’s life, impacting their mental wellbeing, increasing their risk of depression, anxiety and low self-esteem.” Not enough sleep will cause stress on to the teenagers and in severe cases it can cause them to get anxiety, depression and other mental disorders. If kids are at risk of diabetes, depression, and anxiety, then why should school be so early in the morning?
A student academic performance can be affected by the amount of sleep he or she gets. Lack of sleep can cause concentration difficulties shortened attention span and lack of enthusiasm which can affect school work. “They’re more distracted, they may make more careless errors, and they have a hard time focusing on class assignments and tests” (Gellner). When students are sleepy, it is harder to process new information and to remember stuff you have previously learned. Starting school later would give the student some extra time to get some rest and then they could have better grades and fully understand what they are learning. Some students maybe worried about having enough time for afterschool sports. On the other hand, a good night’s sleep has showed improvement on the team’s performance. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “Many have even seen increased participation in sports (Edina, MN) and improved performance by their teams (Wilton, CT; Nathan Hale, Seattle, WA)” (National Sleep Foundation). This shows how not only will you have enough time for sports, but you could potentially even play better. This is important because teams always want the best players, and the best players are those who get a good night’s sleep. Students should not be concerned about having a negative impact on sports with school ending later.
Finally, a teens safety could be greatly impacted by his or her amount of sleep. From a high school student driving to school, to a middle schooler biking to school, both are more prone to accidents if they don’t have enough sleep. “The main take-away is that American teens are not getting enough sleep, which damages their mental and physical health, education, and even ability to drive safely” (Lahey). If school started later, the student would get more sleep and therefore be more alert in the morning and throughout the day. The kids can safely get to school and are less likely to get into a car wreck if they have had a good nights sleep. Some parents more think that extra sleep is not necessary. However, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, not enough sleep affects the health, safety and academic success of the middle or high school student. “The pediatrics say more sleep will improve mood, academic performance and reduce the risk of traffic of accidents and obesity” (Shrute). Because of these factors, we can see that more sleep is necessary. It is important to get more sleep because it is proven that not enough of it can affect the child’s health, safety and academics. The parents who think it isn’t necessary, need to realize this.
Sleep is a necessity, as is school. With school having a later start time, kids can get both. School should start later in the day so middle and high schoolers can have better protection, well-being, and schoolwork. Students can get to school safely, have fewer health problems and do better with educational matters. With school starting later, parents won’t have to worry about if their junior got to school safely.
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