Is sleep more important than people realize? As a student of Clarkston high School, I am concerned with the growing number of school related problems caused from sleep deprivation. School starts at such an early time for high school students, when students finish all their homework and have dinner they only have time for a couple hours of sleep, they hardly have any time to spend with their family, then they have to go back to school again and repeat the cycle without getting the recommended hours of sleep each night. Sleep is like drinking water, you need a lot of it everyday. To fix this growing problem starting times for schools needs to be shifted to after 8:30am.
I strongly urge you to help take action toward starting school no earlier for the following reasons. High school students need 8 or more hours of sleep a night. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), students that don’t get the recommended amount of sleep are likely to perform poorly in school, which could in turn ruin their life. Many times when students seem lethargic and don’t want to do anything, it gets blamed on their teenage behavior, when in fact it is because they don’t get enough sleep due to school starting so early. As the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported, the University of Minnesota’s Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement proved that starting school later resulted in better attendance, standard test scores, and grades. They did that by analyzing 9000 students at 8 high schools in Minnesota, Colorado, and Wyoming. Another thing the CDC says is that in 42 states, most (75%-100%) public schools start before 8:30am, and by shifting the time high schools start in one state could trigger a big chain reaction causing other high schools from other states to follow suit, causing a better learning environment for student learners. Also the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly urges high schools to start school later to help students do better in school, stay safer while driving, maintain better mental health, and to lower the rate of obesity and depression.
Many people all over the United States, as well as myself, are urging others to voice their concerns and/or experiences with high school starting times. We hope you realize how detrimental this can be to our country as a whole, by improving our students academic success, and choosing to take action against schools starting before 8:30am.