Adolescents Are Sleep Deprived For One Main Reason For Early School Start Times

1567 Words May 20th, 2015 7 Pages
Imagine a teen who was unable to sleep during the night, then woke up early in the morning for school the next day. That teenager has a higher chance of falling asleep in class or even falling asleep at the wheel due to lack of sleep and early school start times. Early school start times have a bigger effect on teenagers then most researches thought. Adolescents are sleep deprived for one main reason: early school start times. Teenagers perform worse in school due to the lack of sleep they receive and early school start times.
Early start times have a bigger effect on teenagers than most researchers first thought. Most schools start at 7:30 am, thus leaving teenagers to awaken around 5:30am to 6:00 am. This is a problem because all adolescents need at least 9 ¼ hours of sleep (Mary Caskadon). In order to achieve that goal, teenagers would have to go to bed around nine pm. This is unreasonable because most after school activities such as sports or clubs do not end until seven pm. Then the adolescents get home around eight and still have to eat, take a shower, and do homework. By that time it is almost eleven. Thus, sleeping a full night is impossible.
One reason why it is harder to maintain the correct amount of sleep during the night is because of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that controls the sleep and wake cycles during the day and at night (NSf). When it is secreted melatonin controls the amount of light that is let in by the retina, which is important when it is…

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