Of all the things high school students complain about, being sleep deprived and tired ranks first as most problematic. The issue isn't that kids simply choose not to get enough sleep; it is that the majority genuinely cannot. Students are constantly being badgered by parents, doctors and school faculty to get at least eight hours of sleep, but with school starting as early as 7:20, that makes getting a decent amount of sleep an almost impossible task.
Though there are numerous other reasons as to why students are lacking leap, the start time of school is ultimately the main contributor and leads to many severely negative results. A policy causing high schools to start at 8:30 instead would greatly improve the number of better rested students. Firstly, there are a plethora of other variables preventing students from adequate sleep. Such examples include an excruciating amount of homework, extra-curricular activities and striving to maintain the Triangle Of Health. These additional issues make It even more difficult to get enough sleep.
The large amount of homework sometimes has students staying up all hours of the night. Some might argue that if students manage their time efficiently they should be able to go to sleep at a reasonable hour, but even the most organized, intelligent students have trouble completing their huge quantity of homework by the time recommended getting to bed. Next, students are greatly encouraged to participate in after school activities, however, enough sleep is practically impossible to attain when most activities run until five and time is lost to complete work.
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Finally, students are educated in health class to maintain the Triangle of Health, a diagram representing three crucial elements to being an overall healthy person - physical, mental, and social health. So, students are trying to maintain each form of health by attempting to make time for friends and family, hobbies, at least a half hour of exercise, and stimulation of the mind through education. Overall, when students have these other things to worry about, the early start of school is really an issue when endeavoring to get enough sleep.
Secondly, students' lack of sleep affects their overall performance in school, academically and physically. Inadequate sleep in adolescents, defined as less than nine hours per night, is a known problem and a major public health concern. Sleep is food for the brain. Without the nourishment of enough sleep one can look awful, feel moody, and perform badly. While it's true that delaying school would cause complications in bus runs and after school activities, there are many convincing reasons to do so. A study made by Dry.
Kyle Hailstorm at the University of Minnesota, saw an improvement in attendance and enrollment rates, increased daytime alertness, and decreased student-reported depression in seven schools whose start time changed from 7:15 to 8:40. Other studies have shown less likelihood of experiencing depressed moods, reduced possibility for tardiness, reduced absenteeism, better grades, reduced risk of drowsy driving, and reduced risk of metabolic and nutritional deficits associated with insufficient sleep, including obesity. Another doctor, Judy Owens, MD and sleep expert undertook studies as well.
She found that there was a significant average increase in sleep duration on school nights of 45 minutes across all grades nine to 12 after the change in the school start time. Her report also showed a drastic decline in students who said they rarely or never got enough sleep. The pros more than surpass the cons when it comes to a delayed school start time. All in all, if a little time and effort was put into finding solutions to the few complications that might arise in school starting at 8:30 rather than 7:20, students overall health and academic performance would improve aromatically.
If there is one thing students are lacking in their lives, it is most definitely sleep and unfortunately it is a major issue. With all the incredible benefits of suitable sleep and depressing negative effects of not enough, if given the option, students would most definitely choose to sleep rather than be working on hours of school work and staying at after school activities. But, when the start time of school is as early as 7:20, students will be continuing to be sleep deprived and performing the tiring ritual of complaining of lack of sleep.
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