Why School Should Start Later Essay

1205 words - 5 pages

Have you ever felt like if you just had one extra hour of sleep you would be able to function better in school? Lack of sleep to our teenage brain is a big deal; less sleep can limit our brain development. Our bodies naturally wake up later, we are more alert then. We should delay our first hour to get that extra hour of sleep. The government is starting to notice that teens need more sleep to concentrate in school, so they are working on making laws and bills to get us that extra hour of needed sleep. We teenagers should be allowed an extra hour of sleep. Research has shown that even with an extra hour of sleep our performance is better throughout the school day!
Teens need as much sleep as young children need; teenagers have different brain biology than children and adults. Sleep deprived teenagers display lower brain activity while working than they do rested. More activity comes from the prefrontal cortex, which helps coordinate attention and memory, and the temporal cortex, which contributes to listening and reading comprehension, when well rested. Sleep deprivation also reduces the supply of cortisone and growth hormone that regulate appetite. It is a proven fact that fatigue causes more than one-hundred thousand traffic accidents each year. Adequate sleep contributes to brain development, memory circuit growth, and replenishing the neurotransmitters and endorphins, needed to maximize healthy emotions, mood, attention, memory and thinking. Such sleep defects may interfere with brain development and increase the chance that a teen will develop attention defect disorder and other cognitive problems. Sleep deprivation may also lead to risky decision making and behavior, higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression are also included. Studies have shown that seventy-three percent of teens that are sleep deprived have feelings of sadness and depression, fifty-eight percent report excessive worrying, and fifty-six percent report feelings of stress. There are many effects of sleep deprivation to the brain, such as fatigue, lack of
motivation, irritability, reduced creativity and problem solving skills, and inability to cope with stress. Teens need extra sleep because our bodies and brains continue to grow and change rapidly.
Our internal clocks change as we go through puberty, losing two hours of sleep on average, making it natural for us to stay up later and wake up later. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teens need eight and a half hours to nine and a quarter hours of sleep each night, but it is also a proven fact that only fifteen percent of teens get at least eight and a half hours of sleep each night. Everyone has an internal clock that influences sleep cycles, temperature, appetite, and hormonal changes. The biological and psychology process that follow the cycle of this twenty-four internal clock are called circadian rhythms. Teens with changes in the circadian rhythm experience sleep pose delay; this rhythm...

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