By Lainey Novacek Posted March 10, 2023
Based on research from Nationwide Children’s hospital, the average high school student goes to sleep on weekdays at 11:00 p.m. and wakes up at 6:00 a.m. This means the average teen is only getting seven hours of sleep instead of the recommended nine and a half hours of sleep. This means they are getting two fewer hours of sleep every school day.
As a high school student, I can vouch for this. On average, I fall asleep around 11:00 p.m., I wake up at 6:30 a.m., and I leave my house at 7:20 a.m. Once school is out I practice for the sports I play which last until 5-7 p.m. I get home, do my homework, get ready for bed, and (if I am lucky) I am in bed by 10:00 p.m.
Based on the research from Nationwide Children’s, during the weekend, the average high school student sleeps for 8-11 hours. This is because they are trying to gain more time to sleep because of the lack of sleep they get during school days. During school, we are awake and well after 9:00 a.m., so why not start at that time?
The lack of sleep can also affect the way the teenage brain functions. Based on research done by Stanford Medicine, over 87% of high school students get less than the recommended 8 to 10 hours of sleep. This lack of sleep can lead to health problems and less academic success. (Richter) A lack of sleep also leads to the brain not retaining any information. This can cause students to have lower grades because they can not remember what they learned from the past because of the lack of sleep.
The article, To Keep Teenagers Alert, Schools Let Them Sleep In, written by Jan Haffman, tells the story of a high school student, Jilly Dos Santos.
The article states, “Jilly Dos Santos did try to get to school on time. She set three successive alarms on her phone. Skipped breakfast. Hastily applied makeup while her fuming father drove. But last year she rarely made it into the frantic scrum at the doors of Rock Bridge High School here by the first bell, at 7:50 a.m.”
This is a normal case that happens to many students. It is hard for a teen to get up when they do not have the recommended amount of sleep and then they are just expected to go to school and not be tired and have their minds working correctly.
The school district should see that allowing the school to start later would be beneficial to many growing teenagers. It would allow people’s brains to “wake up” and start functioning and with extra sleep, their brains will be able to retain information better than before causing their grades to increase because of better memory.