Art by R'yn Miller
Sleep Deprivation Due To Homework
Students stay up late causing inattention in classes
March 11, 2016
Sleep loss can take a toll on the mind and body at any stage of life, from early childhood to adulthood. But for teenagers, who are at a critical stage of development, skipping out on sleep can be particularly dangerous.
Recent studies from the American Psychology Association have shown that stress levels in teens are rising and many believe that lack of sleep can be a big part of the problem. Nationwide, there are reports of teens who do not get the recommended hours of sleep and it hinders their ability to focus and learn in the classroom.
“On average, I get about 5 to 6 hours of sleep a night,” senior Angel Leaf said. “It’s impossible for me to get enough sleep. I have a job and usually get off around 11 each night, and then I have to go home and do homework.”
Many students argue that the reason they don’t get enough sleep is because school starts too early, and that a later starting time would certainly help with their lack of sleep.
“A later start would give me more time to sleep and more time to get ready every morning,” senior Ramsey Mata said. “I’m tired every day I come to school, and it makes it hard for me to concentrate on schoolwork.”
Mata said that she has to wake up for school every morning around 5:30 in order to get ready for school in time.
Recently the school board has taken notice of these issues and is looking for a solution. They have proposed a change that would flip the starting time of high schools with the starting time of elementary schools. High schools would begin at 8:30 and elementaries would begin at 7:45.
“Research is a major reason why they have proposed this,” Assistant Principal Cody Blair said. “They’ve looked into it and see the academic benefits of flipping the times. Research shows that older kids don’t seem to function as well when school starts that early, but younger kids can handle it.”
Blair said at first it didn’t seem like any action was going to be taken, but now it’s a serious discussion that he thinks will benefit everyone.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published an article that recommends that no high school should start before 8:30, stating that teenagers’ brains are not fully functioning until this time, and starting anytime before that can cause an increase in depression, obesity, loss of concentration, mood swings and many other harmful side effects.