Start classes in the PH at 8 A.M.
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Sleep deprivation in the Philippines occurs at a staggering rate. According to a research conducted by the Philippine Daily Inquirer (2014), sleep deprivation is experienced by half of the population. Nearly 50 million Filipinos sleep less than six hours a day. Sleep is crucial to our wellbeing. Hence, sleep deprivation can lead to adverse effects on health and performance. Sleep deprivation is characterized by impaired mood, poor cognitive performance, and fatigue (Harvard Medical School, 2007). Additionally, sleep deprivation has been found to be linked to mental health problems (Raven, 2014). Prolonged sleep deprivation leads to the development of sleep debt, the summational deficit of sleep hours.
Early start times has been established to promote sleep deprivation in students (Wahlstrom, 2016). Most high schools in the Philippines begin classes before 8:30 AM. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the sleep cycle of a teenager begins roughly by 11 PM. Given that a teenager requires 8 – 10 hours of sleep at night, a start time within the hour of 7 AM would be incompatible with the typical sleep pattern of a teenager. As such, sleep deprivation has been determined to relate to poor mental health and academic performance (Raven, 2014; Wahlstrom, 2016; Wheaton, Chapman, & Croft, 2016). According to a study conducted by Wahlstrom (2016), students who regularly slept less than eight hours at night were more likely to fall asleep in class. In relation to this, a study conducted by Ming, Kang, Koransky, Buchman, Sarris, and Wagner (2011) concluded that sleep inadequacies and sleep health problems correlate to poor academic performance.
Therefore, as a solution to this problem, all schools and grade levels in the PH should start their classes at 8 AM in order for teenagers to get adequate rest they need for their bodies to develop properly and prevent negative effects to their overall health as well as performance. By starting school at 8 AM, student will be able to get adequate sleep every night, which will not only increase their concentration during classes but also prevent many harmful side effects of sleep deprivation, as they are able to maximize their energy capacity since they are fully recharged.
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