School Should Start at a Later Time

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Wendy Troxel is both a mother and a sleep researcher. She explains the amount of courage she has to muster up in order to wake up her restfully sleeping, 14-year-old son. She elaborates on how it’s just as hard on them as it is on the kids that they have to wake up. Parents and guardians are in the mindset that 8 hours is all that a teen needs to have a good school day, however, they are unaware of the fact that getting 8 hours of sleep is like getting 50 percent on a test. When parents have to wake up their children for school, they are interrupting the biological sleep clock that allows one to wake up when it wants to. The number “8” and the word “sleep” have been thrown around so much that people are forgetting the significance of it. It’s recommended that school should start no earlier than 8:30am. This is a statement that schools tend to dismiss whereas they have start times as early as 7:30am. The time “7:30am” should only be used as a wake-up call not used for that start of school. To cope with fatigue, students get through their school days through caffeinated beverages. Marks are all that matters nowadays. Having less sleep doesn’t only affect one’s school performance; it can also affect their mental health, and behavior. Marks shouldn’t be the tiebreakers in conversations such as this, there are so many other effects caused by lack of sleep and the school education system so take all these factors into account to that they can make changes for the benefit of the generation that is soon going to shape the world.

Lately, I’ve been getting complaints from my friends on how tired they are. On top of that, they keep complaining how there is a very little amount of teachers that take their students’ possible busy lives into consideration when assigning work. With all that is going on at the moment and being a person that going through such a stressful time with culminating projects, university decisions and thinking about the upcoming semester. All of this contributes to my lack of sleep, however, I am granted a first-period spare but it’s not the same for all the students. Since I’m always thinking about sleep, I feel like this would be a video that I can relate to. Maybe if videos like this circle around, people may actually make a change in the school systems for places where school starts much earlier than 8:30am.

Although a lot of people tend to dismiss this, I deeply agree with Troxel when mentions that lack of sleep doesn’t only affect one’s academic performance. Lack of sleep doesn’t give the brain the proper amount of rest it needs to function at it’s finest. It won’t be able to make proper decisions when the person is involved in predicaments as well as lack the ability to calm the person down when he or she is starting to have dark thoughts that may heavily affect their mental health. Students are constantly told by their parents about the effects of sleep and us forget it immediately because (as sad as this sounds) doing well in school means more to us than being healthy. We forget that we can be healthy and do well in school.

This is quite minor but I feel that school should start no later than 8:45am or 9:00am because a lot of high schools give you tons of work and very little time. Looking at the course separately, one might think it’s reasonable, but when looking at all the work they might have from their 3-7 other courses, it becomes very stressful. Other than this I feel like everything else Troxel spoke about made a lot of sense to me.

         Here are some questions I have after the talk:

This TED Talk is packed with important information, however, would the school boards around the world really take this into account? How has lack of sleep affected one’s mental health? What would be considered a “B” or “A” average in terms of sleep time? What else does sleep effect, scientifically speaking, what part of the brain does it affect the most and why? What are ways for one to sleep earlier and fall asleep faster?

I really appreciated the relationships and jokes she made in her talk so that it’s easy to understand for people who aren’t interested in the science behind this event. It highlights a lot of important facts on how crucial sleep is to us, humans. I would forward it to all of my friends and any adults I know so they can understand as to why school should start later for the ones that start as early as 7:30am.


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