How School and Sleeping Don’t Mix


Mason Dyer, Staff Writer

If there’s one thing we’ve come to love as we get older, it’s sleeping. After a long day of school, sleeping becomes an immediate favorite and very necessary option in order to prepare for the next day. But unfortunately, school officials don’t necessarily understand this. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers need around eight to ten hours of rest per night, but according to one study, only 15% of teens reported getting that amount on a school night. Why are students unable to sleep? The answer relates back to school, and how it affects students in a negative way.

If you’re looking for evidence of students not getting enough sleep, look no further than their daily schedule. For the average student at Northgate, class begins for them at 8:30 A.M. But according to The National Sleep Foundation, this is too early. According to the NSF, it is natural for teenagers to be able to fall asleep only after 11:00 P.M., which means that there are only nine  and a half hours between being able to fall asleep and being in class. But this does not account for getting ready for school. Most students are awake at least an hour before school starts, but if you happen to be a student that rides the bus, it would be even earlier. For example, the bus arrives at my house at 7:00 A.M. in the morning. So if I were to take the bus, I would have to be up by 6:00 A.M. in order to get ready and have a healthy breakfast before I leave. This is the reality for many students, and with a lack of sleep could lead to negative outcomes for many.

Throughout an average school day, a student may under-perform in class due to a lack of sleep. This affects their grades, and if serious enough, could limit their options for college. After an average eight hour school day, a student may feel tired, irritable, etc. But rest is still far away for them. Many students have jobs, and work shifts that could go from around 4:00 to 11:00 P.M., which is already around the time they need to be asleep. Once home from working a long shift, they then focus their attention on homework. The homework could take around an hour on average to complete depending on their classes, and once finished they can finally sleep around 12:30-1:00 A.M., receiving around five hours of sleep for the entire night. This is definitely not a healthy lifestyle, and the public education system needs to address this.

In conclusion, their can be multiple ways to address this epidemic of sleep deprivation that is found throughout our schools. For example, school can start at 9:30 A.M., and even if it does not seem like that big of a difference, an hour of extra sleep can be extremely beneficial. And in order to make up for lost time, the school day can be extended from 3:30 to 3:45 P.M. Another way to help sleep deprived students is for teachers to be aware that school is not the only thing that many of us do during the day. Many of us have jobs, or are involved in sports. Teachers should think about these things before deciding to drown us in homework. Overall, we need more sleep in order to have a healthier lifestyle, and the pros definitely outweigh the cons. We all know how bad it is to not get enough sleep, so please think of the students who are dealing with this problem all the time.