School Start Times Promote Adolescent Sleep Deprivation.

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87% of all High School students suffer from sleep deprivation. I am included in this majority. The recommended 8-10 hours of sleep has been undercut severely by my 3-5 hours of sleep. No, this isn’t an instance of a teenager staying up late to socialize or play games. No, this is not just an instance of some sort of ‘outlier’ that has trouble initiating sleep. Rather, I fit near the average at my school in terms of sleep duration. Why? Because schools have been inconsiderate to student’s long term health in favor of statistics and efficiencies in the transportation system.

How much time is wasted on an average school day? One might estimate 5-10 minutes per class over 7 periods which equates to around an hour or so. This is time spent doing nothing. Now think to how often students are actively productive in school. The school day all of a sudden dwindles down to maybe an hour or two on average. So why must we endanger the sleep habits of students to enforce a lengthy, strenuous school day? My school  day starts at 7:15 and the bus arrives at 6:15. The day ends at 2:10. What is the benefit of starting the day early to depart earlier, especially since the afternoon is surely filled with naps to catch up on sleep? Spoiler: there is none.

So everyone: students, parents, politicians, and everyone in between, must unite and heavily oppose the unnecessarily early school start times. This petition is just the introduction to a much larger shift in education and their considerations towards student health. Our goal is to reform standards for public schools across America, starting in my home state of Georgia. Our most likely path is through legislation, so share this everywhere to ensure that regional and national governments will listen to this pressing issue.