By: Samantha Fricano
Have you ever fallen asleep during class? Do you find yourself constantly hitting snooze before finally dragging yourself out of bed? If you do, you are probably a part of two thirds of all high school students who get less than seven hours of sleep every night.
In my opinion, schools should start later than 7:35 a.m. It does not have to be a dramatic change but teenagers should definitely get more sleep than elementary school kids who have less responsibilities.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, middle and high school classes should start no later than 8:30 a.m. to allow students to get a good night’s sleep. Getting little sleep in teens is associated with migraines, immune system disruption, physical inactivity, depression, lower grades, smoking, and drinking.
¨I definitely see a difference in my mood and energy level when I can sleep in,¨ said Batavia high school student Leah Smith. ¨I think school should start later because kids can’t focus as well in the morning, my first two classes are definitely more difficult than the last two.¨
During the teen years it is especially important to get a good amount of sleep. This is because the body is undergoing a major developmental phase. Sleep is very important during this phase because it aids in the development process. Sleep also physically restores the body, therefore when a person does not get enough sleep it affects their mood. This then affects a persons behavior, ultimately affecting their relationships.
¨It’s crazy that they expect us to do homework for all of our classes, participate in sports or extracurricular activities, spend time with friends, and spend time with family,¨ said Rosary high school student Laney Cahill. ¨It’s almost impossible to do it all and still get a good night’s sleep.¨
I asked a total of 16 students on average how many hours of sleep they get on a school night. Out of those 16 people, 15 of them get 7 or less hours of sleep. The National Sleep Foundation states that teens need 8-10 hours of sleep each night.
¨I find myself feeling tired and out of focus almost every day at school,¨ said Rosary student Maggie Neff. ¨I go home and take a nap almost every day of the week.¨
Many teens have often claimed that in the morning they don’t have time to eat breakfast. Breakfast provides the energy and nutrients needed to concentrate in the classroom.
¨I would love if school started later,¨ said Batavia high school student Claire Compton. ¨Highschoolers need more sleep than little kids because we have more work which causes us to stay up late and feel drowsy in the morning.¨
Sleep helps so many important parts of the body and the mind yet still high schools are starting earlier than elementary schools. 43 percent of high schools start earlier than 8:00 a.m. Schools claim that this is because some of the high school kids need to pick up their younger siblings from school. However, all of the Batavia Public Elementary Schools provide a ¨kids club¨ after school where kids can play games until their parents are able to come and get them. There is also bus services provided to take kids from all schools home.