Changing High School Start Times Essay

2065 words - 8 pages

In today's society, most people desire success. They want to attend a respected college, earn exceptional grades, get a wonderful job, and make a lot of money. However, the road to success starts before all of those accomplishments can happen. This journey begins in the classroom. In the classroom, over 25% of all high-school students fall asleep one or more times a week (Mayer-Hohdahl 1). Why does this happen? Schools have sleepy students because of their early start times. "Starting high school early is probably one of the worst things you can do as far as timing the day, as far as adolescents being alert or ready" (Wooley 2). This is a serious problem in high schools all across the nation. Students are tired, and teachers are tired of it. Something needs to be done. A change needs to be made in our schools. If schools pushed their start times back an hour or more, there would be significant improvements in the classroom-and in the student.
As Dr. Lynne Keefe states, “Everything is affected by your sleep” (Tammen 2). Think about it. Sleep affects academics, athletics, health, and social aspects of adolescents’ lives (Willey 2). How well we sleep, the quantity of sleep we receive, and at what time we wake up in the morning all have a great influence on our day- and our lives. If one does not sleep long enough it affects their mood, the way they act towards people, and their overall health and well-being (Willey 2). Sleep deprivation causes extreme anxiety, depression, memory deficit, decreased creativity, and decreased ability to accomplish complex tasks and make sound decisions (Willey 2). Teens also have a higher chance to acquire diabetes, heart disease, obesity, depression, and a shortened life span due to lack of adequate sleep (Epstein 1). When repeatedly not attaining enough sleep, a person is more likely to be involved in a car accident, which is the leading cause of death in adolescents (Epstein 1-2). A lot of people have at least once gotten little sleep during the week, and then tried to catch up on their sleep throughout the weekend. Studies show that when one tries to catch up on sleep throughout the weekend, it affects their attentiveness on Monday morning, and their ability to attain a regular sleep pattern, which is overall bad for their health (Telljohann 7). Sleep deprivation may also lead to more dangerous behavior, such as using sleeping pills at night. In a recent poll, 6% of teenagers admitted to using sleeping pills before going to bed after a long day. 5.7% of students said that if they are having trouble falling asleep, they will have a cigarette to calm themselves before bed. Also, 2.9% of adolescents will drink alcohol before going to bed to ensure that they sleep well (Telljohann 1). What if parents found out their teen was engaging in this dangerous behavior? Sleep is a necessity to everyone, and some teens are finding that they can’t always get the amount they need.
Some people may ask, “Why don’t...

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