Every day SLA students living all over the city of Philadelphia wake up in the morning to come to school, which starts at 8:15 am. Depending on how close they live to school, and how they can get there, some student shave to wake up earlier than others. For some students getting up early results in a lack of necessary sleep. People, especially growing teenagers need sleep to rest and recharge their bodies. A good night of sleep helps students concentrate and do well in school, as well as keep them energized. However this necessary rest is not always achieved by students who have to wake up early to get to school on time.
According to the U.S. National Sleep Foundation, teenagers need an average of 9.25 hours of sleep per night. A lack of sleep can be harmful to people. It can make them moody, irritable, and of course tired. Students need to be awake and alert in order to function in school. Without sleep students may have difficulty paying attention in class, and doing well in school.
Sleep deprivation affects students in the classrooms at SLA. In some classes students have trouble focussing because they are tired. This lack of sleep can make it harder for students to pay attention, and schoolwork and grades can be affected.
Many student at SLA get less than the 9.25 hours of sleep that they need. Some get as little as six hours or less a night. This can make staying awake in class a challenge. Some students have to catch up on sleep in class. SLA teacher Mark Bey, has noticed that this lack of sleep greatly affects how well his students do in class, and how well they pay attention.
Many school are facing this problem with students not getting enough sleep. Some schools have tried to fix it by having schools start later. Two school districts in Minneapolis Minnesota changes there school start times from 7:20 to 8:40. They noticed that this later start time caused students to be happier and more attentive. But it’s not just havin to get up early that causes student snot to get enough sleep. Many high school students have very busy lives, inside and outside of school. With homework, projects, sports, extra curricular activities, hanging out with friends, and working, it can be hard for students to find time to get some rest. SLA junior, Thomas Jeffcoat has to balance a job with school. This makes him very tired in class. He even works on weekends so it’s difficult for him to use them to catch up on sleep.
“This could be improved if they had better time management”, says Mr. Bey.
Many students simply have trouble fitting sleep into their busy schedules. And going to a school that starts at 8:15 doesn’t work well with teengers who like to sleep in. Sleep is very important for the health and development of teens. We sacrifice sleep to do other things, and neglect it’s importance to our health, our energy, and our performance in the classroom.