A Solution for the Sleep Problem

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87 percent of high school students are sleep deprived.  Society is treating sleep like a luxury when really, it is a health need.

Teenagers are more prone to sleep deprivation because once they hit puberty, their circadian rhythms are shifted two hours, which makes it hard for adolescents to fall asleep before 11 pm. This fact results in the majority of teenagers not getting the recommended amount of sleep on a nightly basis.

Between endless homework, after-school activities, and just not being able to fall asleep because of our shifted circadian rhythms, adolescents are suffering.

If we could push back the school start time this major issue would be greatly improved. CNN reports that middle schools and high schools should start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. The simple fix of pushing school back would greatly improve the lives of the students at Verona High School.

Sleep deprivation can cause serious side effects, especially in developing teens. A doctor from the American Academy of Pediatrics stated “The research is clear that adolescents who get enough sleep have a reduced risk of being overweight or suffering depression, are less likely to be involved in automobile accidents, and have better grades, higher standardized test scores and an overall better quality of life.”

CNN reports that sleep deprivation can produce mood swings, substance abuse, immune disorders, and depression.

We can address these issues; pushing back the school start time could benefit VHS students’ lives, health, and learning. The major issue for not pushing back school start times in many school districts is because of buses. Since we do not have a bus system at Verona High School pushing back the start time is even easier for us. CNN reports that schools have successfully managed to push back their start time, stating that “their solutions did not require rocket science but, rather, a shift of priorities”.

Let’s stop treating sleep like a luxury and start treating it like a priority. Let’s consider pushing back Verona High School’s start time.


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