One’s years as a teenager can be some of the best and worst of their lives. Getting to spend time with friends during school can be entertaining, however attending certain courses is what draws many students into vexation.
School can be extremely stressful, especially once students get to high school. From GPAs to college applications and finding time to squeeze in extra curriculars, the pressure is on and everyone is feeling it.
“I feel as if I don’t participate in all of these activities then I can’t get into the college I want to get into and then I won’t be able to succeed later in life,” sophomore Rylee Berger said.
With everything going on in a student’s life, it is to be expected that they be a bit sleep deprived, but not to the existing extent. When questioned as to how late they have to stay up, most participating Cooper City High students responded with the average time of 11 pm, depending on their workload, with a wake up time of around 6 am for school, 5:30 for those who have to catch the bus.
“It gets tiring,” Berger said. “I have to leave my house by 6:30 every morning in order to be here for school.”
Most doctors recommend eight to ten hours of sleep during adolescence because of the constant change the body undergoes during that time, a goal lots of students are obviously not meeting, partially because sleep patterns change during adolescence.
A study conducted by M.H. Hagenauer, JI Perryman, T.M. Lee and M.A. Carskadon found that “adolescents continue to show a delayed circadian (or internal clock) phase as indicated by daily endocrine rhythms even after several weeks of regulated schedules that allow for sufficient sleep.”
Furthermore an edition of the Harvard Health letter of Harvard Medical School published that the blue light emitted from electronic screens can cause sleep problems: “At night, light throws the body’s biological clock—the circadian rhythm—out of whack. Sleep suffers.” It doesn’t help that most of the curriculum has been pushed online, leaving students to work on computer until going to sleep.
The existing argument to solve this issue is to simply push back school start time. However, this argument combats the onslaught of sleepy students with the unfortunately valid points of a resulting later release time, leading to less time after school for jobs and extra curriculars that many teens have.
“I personally like it this early because I don’t want to be getting out late,” junior Gabby Carbone said. “Even though I hate getting up so early I know that if I get out [of school] later I will still be staying up late anyways.”
This seems like an insolvable problem; it is an endless cycle of staying up late to finish assignments and waking up early to avoid tardies.
“I feel that even starting at eight or eight thirty would be so beneficial,” Berger said. “That extra half hour or hour of sleep would do so much for my health and personal sanity.”
While there is no clear cut solution it is imminent that there must be a way that students can get just a little bit more sleep. Pushing back school’s start time, even just by half an hour can have an impact on a student’s ability to focus, and perform in class.
Featured photo by Saige Griffin