Let us sleep


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The teenage sleep cycle requires a later wake up time, so with school starting before 8 a.m., students are not getting the sleep they need to function correctly.

by Kate Casey, Managing Editor

The human body is an amazing machine. Unlike any other known organism in the universe it can create advanced ideas, sense emotion, communicate through language, and thousands of other incredible things.

So why are schools ridding teenagers of sleep, one of the only things the body asks in return?

Before the sun is even out, students are expected to be capable of learning new and complex ideas, retaining that information, and succeeding on grade altering exams. But when the morning bell rings at 7:50 a.m., students are far from awake.

In adolescence, the natural sleep cycle shifts. New hormones influence teens to naturally to both fall asleep and wake up late. Naturally, teenagers should be waking up at 8 a.m., yet school is already in session at this time.

Sleep deprivation can lead to concentration issues, substance abuse, depression, and car crashes.

Teenagers cannot alter their natural sleep patterns, but schools can and should adjust to their students basic health needs. If school started just a half hour later, students would be able to support their natural sleep cycle.

I get out of bed at 6:45 every morning, hours before my body is ready to wake up. I go through the motions of taking notes and writing essays during my morning classes, but without sleep, I’m not reaching my full potential. It shows in my grades, my classes in the morning are several points lower than my afternoon classes. If I had the chance to study and learn when my body was ready for it, I’m positive my work would be better.

Although the health of students should outweigh scheduling conflicts, it is one of the main factors preventing a later school start time.

With school starting later, administrators say that sports practices and games would have to be pushed later too, but this is not necessarily true. Reducing the one hour lunch period to a half hour would make up for the time lost in the morning.

It’s an incredibly easy solution and would make school more enjoyable for everyone. Students’ grades would go up because they would not be so tired and unmotivated to do work, especially in morning classes.

We have learned since we were children how important it is to keep our body healthy, yet schools are preventing us from doing that. A little hypocritical, don’t you think?