Juniors Sleeping in for Option

by Lauren Patasnik, Staff Writer

Glen Rock High School is one of many schools that doesn’t allow juniors to sleep in during their option class. As a junior myself I find this unreasonable and feel that I should have the choice of sleeping in.  This is the year juniors have had 2 full years of high school experience and are finally allowed to get their driver’s licenses. These both enable them to act more mature as well as responsibly getting to school on time. Although some juniors must wait longer than others to obtain their driver’s license, walking can also be a smart and simple option

Once high schoolers enter their junior year, they begin to be looked at as upperclassmen and therefore more is expected from them. It’s their time to wrap their heads around college and get even more serious about their grades than they were before. All of this leads to a boatload of stress and pressure to get exemplary grades which results in a drastic effect on their sleep.  Sleeping in during option gives a break and relieves stress for juniors knowing they don’t need to be at school for first period. 

A popular statement may be, “students should simply go to sleep earlier.” This is not the case. As teenagers grow up and go through puberty they start feeling tired later at night. This makes them think it’s perfectly fine to finish all of their homework around 11 pm because of all the energy they still have. Not only do they go to bed later, but they also need to sleep later than usual. Data from the U.S. National Library of Medicine states that teens need a full 9 hours of sleep to feel fully healthy and functional. Pediatrics Child & Health says that if these 9 hours are not fulfilled it could lead to serious depression, a negative change in mood, and loss of memory, motivation, and concentration. None of these effects benefits a student in school which is why giving them the choice of sleeping in during their option can eliminate them. 

Sleep is one of the most necessary things in someone’s life, especially high schoolers. Based on a study in 1996 by the National Institute of Health, sleep is related to achievement in school and their classes. Sleep deprivation can lead to impaired cognitive performance and the inability to learn successfully.  How are juniors expected to get straight A’s, a good GPA, and finish all of their homework with little to no sleep? Although some may attempt to achieve all of these things with no problem, the majority of others are heavily challenged. 

More sleep is also found to increase a student’s chance of getting better test scores in their classes. A study done by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2017 showed that females benefited greatly from an hour later start time. After taking a test an hour later it showed that their reading test scores increased by 0.15 standard deviations. As a female, I would want the choice of sleeping in during my option so that my test scores increase. 

All of these positive outcomes could change the lives of students. Giving the choice for juniors to sleep in during their option period can make that come true. Getting that extra 2 or 3 hours of sleep will help their overall physical and emotional health.