Is A Lack of Sleep Affecting Students in the Classroom?

Instead+of+paying+attention+in+class%2C+all+this+student+can+think+about+is+her+comfy+bed+and+soft+pillows+back+at+home.

Instead of paying attention in class, all this student can think about is her comfy bed and soft pillows back at home.

Hannah Shine

It’s true that teenagers are notorious for having firm beliefs and wanting them to be valued. 2018 is the year that teens are finally being heard across the globe — as long as they’re awake.

One common topic that never leaves the mouths of millenials is how constantly tired they all are. You look around and almost every student is miserable, others are fighting to stay awake, and teachers are repeatedly having to wake up their students in class. Because of this, high-schoolers are firmly requesting that school start at a later time.

“School should definitely start later. I am always so tired and barely have any energy for my two-hour practice after school,” said East senior Arielle Park.

“My grades are definitely lower in my earlier classes, and I feel that is due to a lack of sleep,” said senior Jacob Adelberg.

“I feel like I can’t fully function in class when the sun hasn’t even risen yet,” said senior Joseph Neto.

According to Consumeraffairs.com, “More than one-quarter (28%) of high school students fall asleep in school, 22% fall asleep doing homework, and 14% arrive late or miss school because they oversleep.”

The Atlantic reported that the positive effects found due to a delayed school start time showed over 9,000 students, from eight high schools, in three states had improved grades and standardized test scores, along with a 65-70% reduction in teen car accidents. Thus proving how people can flourish when well-rested and energized.

As students attend school each day, they are expected to execute a list of tasks on which they are graded. In order to do this and perform well, young adults need energy and determination. This cannot be achieved with such a lack of sleep.

According to Smithtown’s Board of Education meeting on November 28, 2017, it was calculated that, “43% of HS students report skipping breakfast due to a lack of time to eat, 38% report frequently lacking energy, and 61% feel a later start time is a big factor in meeting the learning and health needs of district students.” How can we fix this?

A long day of school and extracurricular activities can take a toll on teens, ultimately leaving them to feel drained. Yet something so small, but so important, like sleep, is taken for granted every day. A later start time for high schools needs to be seriously considered. This may help students’ overall health and be a start to better work ethic in the classroom.