Teens today struggle with poor academic performance, fatigue, headaches, depression etc. Going into a high school class teacher are dropping 2 or 3 textbooks near their desk or hitting desks with yard sticks to attempt to wake students up. This should not be happening in the year of 2020. School systems have been debating implementing a later starting time for public schools, which would be an extreme advance considering the numerous effects due to lack of sleep.
Lack of sleep is a common topic of discussion among high school students, constantly talking about the little sleep they got the night before. Little do they know how much it’s damaging their health, especially for teens. Scientists have proven that the brain is not fully functioning until 10am. The average amount of sleep that teenagers get is between 7 and 7 1/2 hours, most of the time less however, they need between 9 and 9 ½ hours to be proficient during the 7-hour school day.
We should not be medicating kids with attention problems that is in the end due to lack of sleep. To think high school students, get punished for falling asleep in class is absurd especially when teachers have no clue what’s going on in their home life. High school is a melting pot full of people from every background you could imagine. Students having to take care of siblings, or even their own kids. Many students play sports at school, then go to club or church sports. Not to mention the enormous workload students are given and expected to keep up with 6 or 7 classes full of work in each class. Teachers should not be blaming students for these uncontrollable factors.
Officials would like to argue that the reason teens aren’t getting enough sleep due to “teenage angst.”- moodiness, sleeping late on weekends, impulsive behavior, but isn’t that a part of being teenagers. The problem is parents, teachers and administration are forgetting what it’s truly like to be a teenager. On top of that students with mental illness and society making them feel different for these things that they cannot help. These are all factors of students not getting enough sleep.
Overall, students should not be shamed for their lack of sleep and aided by getting the help they need. There is no doubt that school systems implementing a later school starting time would make schools across the country a better place.