Zzzz for A's
alarm went off at 6:00 a.m. I rolled over in bed, groggy and
tired. I hit the snooze. I was just too tired to get up. My day
was already off to a bad start. I had to quickly brush my hair
and scramble to eat breakfast. While her early school start time
may be okay for my teachers, it doesn't work for me and my
I am not
the only student suffering from lack of sleep. Kidshealth.org
says that 20% of high school students fall asleep in class. Teens
like us need 8½ to 10 hours of sleep per night. With school start
times so early, many students don't get nearly enough sleep. To
get the suggested nine and a half hours of sleep and get up in
time to get ready for school and make the bus, we would have to
go to sleep at 8:30 p.m. I know from experience that going to
sleep that early doesn't happen often.
adults still ask us teens why we don't just go to bed earlier.
Research shows that humans' internal clocks (circadian rhythm) are set differently during the
teenage years. This change is due to the fact that more of the
brain hormone melatonin is produced later at night for teens than
it is for kids and adults. This causes teens to go to
sleep and wake up later. No, we teens are not just lazy!
in schools with later start times perform better. They are more
attentive in class when they have more sleep. Well rested kids
soak up more information and perform better on tests. A good
night's sleep can be the difference between an A and a C.
Students are also able to perform harder in athletic activities.
It is hard to play well when you are dragging your feet on the
ground from being so tired.
More sleep would
help improve schools' attendance records. Many students are late
to school because they slept in or were too tired to get up. If
they woke up at the time their body wakes up naturally, that
problem would be eliminated. Lack of sleep makes us more
susceptible to illnesses. If we got more sleep, the number of
sickness-caused absences would decrease by a lot.
educating teenage students need later start times for their
students' benefit and the school's.
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