Sleep Deprived Students Fall Behind

Gracie Baker and Breanna Sanchez

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Teenagers need more sleep than any other age group, and yet we get the least. Most high school students have after-school jobs, which for some students is necessary to help their parents with bills or to be able to support themselves. But almost every kid has after-school chores they’re expected to get done everyday and homework on top of all that can lead to an extremely busy day.

On a day where I have work and school, I need to wake up at six in the morning, be out of the house at seven and be at school at 7:30. I usually go into work around four or five, so that leaves me with two hours to get all my chores done and to finish my homework. Usually I don’t have enough time to get both done. I can stay work anytime between 9 to 12 in the night. Sometimes I don’t get home until midnight and I still have hours left of homework waiting for me. Then, once my homework is done in the wee hours of the morning, it’s time for bed and I have to do it all over again.

Some students are athletes that have practice for 2 to 2 ½ hours. Once I get home from practice , I have to do homework, eat dinner, do my chores and shower. By that time its 10:30 or 11:00, and most of the time I will stay up a little bit longer to be sure everything is done. I normally wake up at  5:45 or 6. Which is less than 6 hours of sleep. Then I go to school and the day resets. Then to add to the stress to participate in athletics, your grades have to be steady and without sleep, and there is a lot being expected of you. I asked a couple of athletes how much sleep they get a night. “ I get about five hours a sleep a night or seven on a good night when I don’t have a lot of homework,” said Kylee Henshaw and Morgan Lindsey. and Skyler Perry agreed with that statement.

Schools always preach about getting enough sleep at night and tell students how important eight hours of sleep is not only for our learning, but our physical/mental health. A school in Denver called Cherry Creek realized they were selling their students short and not giving them the chance to be the best they can be, so they started school later and they found that students were much more engaged and had much more energy.

According to Stanford Medicine, sleep deprived students have extremely negative consequences which include “inability to concentrate, poor grades, drowsy driving accidents anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide and even suicide attempts.”

Teenagers need at least 9 1⁄2 hours of sleep. Most don’t even get half of that. “I get about 5 hours of sleep every night, and it’s very stressful for me to get through the school day,” said Kyla Graham. She also agreed that school begins too early.

How are we going to do things that are expected of us if our bodies will not function with us? Is there a way to fix this problem? Starting school later or a block schedule would be very helpful and it would take a lot of stress off of our shoulders.