One of the hardest things for high school students to do is wake up in the morning. The typical high school gets up for school between 6 and 7 a.m. This constantly leaves students tired during the school day and makes it harder for them to do their best on their school work. However, school districts across the nation are slowly realizing how the teenage body works and the sleep schedule it requires.
In Fall of 2015, the Seattle School Board voted on a historic change for their school district. Elementary schools will be starting earlier, when the high schools would typically start, and the high schools will be starting later, when the elementary would typically start. The district believes this will be a miraculous change for everyone involved. It will settle the differences in sleep schedule between teenagers and children. With more sleep, students will do better on their schoolwork.
Naturally, a child’s body is wired to go to bed early, around 8 or 9 p.m. On the flipside, a teenager’s body doesn’t want to fall asleep until 11 or 12 p.m. Anyone who has a child in their home knows that they get up early. The science here is easy to understand; if teenagers got up simply an hour later, it would be easier for them and they would do better at school. If elementary schools started earlier, children would wake up at the right time. Teenagers need at least 8 hours of sleep, and without the those necessary hours, strict consequences follow. Sleep-deprived teenagers are more likely to develop depression and use drugs and alcohol.
With school districts starting this new schedule, it is slowly spreading its way across the nation. The results of this change are significant. In time, hopefully all school districts will see this and be inspired to change in order for more successful students.
Photo by Keara Blair