Tater Talks: Is Sleep the Key?

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Tatyana Hernandez, Writer

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Benefits of Sleep

What is the point of sleep? Simply, sleep is what gets humans through the day. It is a form of rest that slows down the nervous systems activity. Without this precious pleasure, your body wouldn’t have enough energy to properly function for 24 hours. When a person gets enough rest, they are capable of keeping focus and being attentive during the duration of the day. Sleep allows waste to leave the brain and let it react/work more efficiently. Sleep also plays a major part in balancing hormones. When one does receive the proper amount of rest, they are more likely to be in a happier mood than someone who may lack.

The Problem

Sleep deprivation has always been a problem in teens. On average, only 15% of teens receive the needed 8 ½ hours of sleep every night, which for the most part still isn’t enough to get them through the day. Although the average adult may only need 8 hours of sleep, the teen body requires much more. Due to growth hormones and energy spikes that happens within puberty, teens necessitate around 9 ¼ hours of sleep per day. Without the proper amount of rest, high school students tend to fall behind in classes and fail certain exams.

The Fallout

Early start times for high schoolers creates a major problem for teens. In the absence of sleep, teens begin to sleep during class or show up late to their classes. As a result of this, their grades suffer, potentially damaging their GPAs and chances to get into college. For a variety of reasons in today’s world, it has become increasingly harder to attend college. Without a consistent 3.0 average and a slew of extracurricular activities and sports to bulk up your resume, it’s almost impossible to get into a good school. How can a teenager be expected to fit everything into one day?

Solution

On average, most high schools start classes at 8AM every day. Due to this early start, students are required to wake up an hour or even two in advance to either get ready or to eat or to make the bus. This on its own causes a huge lack of sleep in most teens. However, if schools were to start at a later time, such as 8:30AM, only a half an hour later, it would allow teens to sleep in a little more and receive the healthy amount of sleep that they require.

Benefits

If schools were to put this idea into action, students would be doing drastically better academically and emotionally. With the added sleep not only would they do better, but their health would also increase. Due to the proper rest, their hormones would function normally and reduce the number of stress teens currently have, allowing for more well-rested, academically inclined students. 

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