High School Start Time

1526 Words 6 Pages
Every night teens stay up into the early hours of the morning working on homework, studying for tests. The next day they are zombies, unable to function or retain information. The national sleep foundation recommends that teenagers ages 14-17 get 8-10 hours of sleep each night. But 45 percent of teenagers are not getting the recommended amount of sleep each night, and only 20 percent receiving 9 hours each night. Despite the costs and extension to the school day, a later school start time would benefit high school students academic abilities and improve their overall health. By starting school an hour later, could drastically increase students mental awareness and ability to learn.
Opponents argue that adjusting the high school’s start time
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Since teens need eight and a half to nine hours of sleep each night and, “disrupting these circadian rhythms with early school start times can cause chronic sleep deprivation, which leads to increased risk for obesity, depression, poor academic performance, substance abuse and driving accidents” (Yoshiko). These risks will impact the student’s grades and ability to perform well in school. Depression, obesity and substance abuse are serious factors, that will impact the student beyond the classroom and into their adulthood. In addition to risks imposed on students health, the “lack of sleep stunts cognitive speed as well as the ability to make decisions and retain information, and can hurt academic performance, cut attendance and raise dropout rates” (Our View: For Teens, Early School Bells Ring Wrong Notes). Even if students make it to school physically, mentally they will not succeed in school. In order for students to fully grasp the lesson, they must have enough sleep. Their ability to obtain new information is fractured when they can barely keep their eyes open. John Marsden, author, principal, and owner of the alternative secondary school, said that "the first period of the day is such a write-off for so many teenagers," he said. "As a teacher, you just have a row of yawning faces. It is just like the clowns at the Melbourne Show" (Butt). As a student at Parkway West, I see firsthand the yawns and zoned out faces of students in the earlier class periods. The first hour of the day has no effect as students are still waking up, and not listening to what the teacher is discussing. School becomes unimportant to students as they are too tired to retain any information. An early school start time impacts the health and academic abilities of students and without the correct amount of sleep, the first hours of the day are

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