kennedy m. Michigan

sleep deprivation

As a student, I see many people struggle in school due to lack of sleep. I think its important we help understand the Sid effects of sleep deprivation and why we should help students not have this problem.

Dear Future President,

    My name is Kennedy and I am a student in a small town in the state of Michigan. I walk into school everyday at 7:00 am and I can see people's eyes slowly blinking as if their eyelids weigh 50 pounds. I can hear the voices of people complaining about how tired they are or how their school work/ physical activities kept them up all night. I constantly see people falling asleep in class and or dozing off into space, probably thinking about how nice laying in bed sounds. How is it possible to comprehend information and learn when you and your peers are not in the right state of mind. When people get these Symptoms, we say thier sleep deprived. Because students don't get enough sleep and it's affecting their health and school work, Michigan should have school start later.

First off, many may think sleep deprivation is no big deal because all it will do is make you tired and while that is true many don't realize the actual harm it does to your mental mind/ brain. “Among human subjects, a champion non sleeper was a 17-year-old student who voluntarily undertook a 264-hour sleep-deprivation experiment. Effects noted during the deprivation period included irritability, blurred vision, slurring of speech, memory lapses, and confusion concerning his identity.” This states that under an experiment, this 17 year old had trouble functioning and acknowledging things throughout his day when he was sleep deprived. This evidence connects to my claim because it mentions how hard it is and how easy lack of sleep can affect your body and the way it functions. It's not healthy for students to live everyday like this and it's not fair to have kids try to manage school when their impaired with these side effects.

Secondly, some may say if kids are having a hard time focusing on staying awake in class to just go to bed earlier, but how are we supposed to do that when we may have homework, sports, and extracurricular activities. “The 24 hour society of the United States makes ever-increasing demand on the time available for studying, working, and exercising, and offers ever-increasing opportunities for socializing and recreating.” This means that in our everyday life we think that sleep is the less important part of our day. We believe so much on getting things done and doing other things first before actually thinking about our health and how sleep should be our main priority. That's why it's hard for us student to go to bed at an early time.

Another example of why we should have school times start later is not only because it affects our brain but also our body's overall health. It's shown that children who have sleep deprivation appear to be at greater risk for daytime behavioral problems. Some health factors are increased days of sick at school, increased physical complaints, risk for accidents or injuries. It can also lead to consumption of alcohol, nicotine and caffeine. Not only are there health and behavior problems, there's also performance/ learning and mood problems such as students reacting and processing information slowly and diminishing happiness and or increased depression (Gahan Fallone). This means that sleep deprivation can affect more of you then just making you tired. It can hurt students and children deep down and can affect many aspects of their life. This is important because in order for kids to get the best education they need to be in the best condition.

Lastly, there are many schools who have tried the start time change to see if it improved their school determination and test scores. “Edina, Minnesota, an affluent suburb of Minneapolis where the high school start time was changed from 7:25 to 8:30 am. The result were startling. In the year preceding in time changes, math and verbal SAT scores for the top 10% of edina’s students averaged 1500. An increase that couldn't be attributed to any other variable.” This showed that students who school times changed actually helped their test scores due to the extra hour. Letting kids get that extra hour of sleep let's them get suited for a long day of learning new information. This will allow kids to get that extra hour and not have to worry about the health issues that could affect them if they didn't get that hour.  

In conclusion, there are many side effects that can harm the body due to sleep deprivation. It's important school takes this in and truly try to understand this problem and see if they would want to try the change. I think that most schools should try this new schedule because it could only make things better for the student. It's up to you future president. It's time for us students to get the proper amount of sleep so we are best fit for learning.

Sincerely, Kennedy M.

Congratulations on your presidency!


Major sleep disorders and how psychiatric problems affect sleep are examined in Daniel J. Buysse(ed.), Sleep Disorders and Psychiatry (2005). Stephen H. Sheldon et al. (eds.), Principles and Practice of Pediatric Sleep Medicine, 2nd ed. (2014), gives a comprehensive picture of pediatric sleep.

FALLONE, GAHAN. "Sleep and Children's Physical Health." Encyclopedia of Education, edited by James W. Guthrie, 2nd ed., vol. 6, Macmillan Reference USA, 2002, pp. 2231-2234. Opposing Viewpoints in Context,

Bronson, Po. "Snooze or lose: overstimulated, overscheduled kids are getting at least an hour's less sleep than they need, a deficiency that, new research reveals, has the power to set their cognitive abilities back years." New York, 15 Oct. 2007, p. 30+. Student Edition,


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