A New Place to Sleep

The average teenager should get up to eight hours of sleep a day, but do teens all really get up to eight hours of sleep a day? Some freshman are saying that the forty-five minute difference in opening of middle school and high school makes a huge difference, and they hope that they soon become accustomed to a 7:30 AM starting time.  Yet, many sophomores, juniors and seniors still find that they are not getting enough school.  But is the reason that teenagers are always so tired in school because they go to bed late, or is it possibly because school starts too early? Some experts are saying that, “the nation’s early high-school start times, increasingly common, are tantamount to abuse.”

Nevertheless, some teachers, parents, and even some students can argue that students are just not getting to bed on time. If a student finishes his or her homework at 9:30PM, goes to bed at 10:00 PM, and wakes up at 6:00 AM to catch a 7:10AM bus, he or she would’ve gotten enough sleep and would’ve had ample enough time to get ready for school. However, if another student finishes his or her homework and goes to bed the same time as the first student, but wakes up at 5:15 AM to catch a 6:30 AM bus, that person would’ve gotten forty-five minutes less sleep than the first student because of how far away they live from school. An alternative move the second student could’ve taken is to have gone to bed forty-five minutes earlier, but no teacher would excuse a late assignment if a student says that they could not complete it in order to get enough sleep.  Additionally, students often do not wake up early enough to even have breakfast at home, as they are forced to grab every ounce of sleep that they can get.  Subsequently, they end up either missing breakfast or purchasing something (often unhealthy) at the breakfast table as they rush to class.

So, is it the homework to blame for not enough sleep?  An honors class is supposed to give at least forty-five minutes of homework each night.  For the students that have 6-7 honors courses, they are expected to spend about 5 hours spent on homework each day (assuming that we are completely focused)! Some students can actually complete each assignment in maybe forty-five minutes to an hour, or maybe even less.  However, there are some students in honors classes that take longer to think than others.  Additionally, AP and IB students get even less sleep than honors students.  Some AP/IB students complain that they are regularly up until 2:00 AM doing homework, which would leave them getting less than 5 hours of sleep a night.  Not only is this detrimental to their long term health, but it causes students to go through school miserably tired and unable to perform to their full potential.

The solution: create a place in school where students can sleep.  A room in the school with comfy chairs and sofas would be beneficial, if it were put there for kids to take a short nap during study halls of frees. If students have this free time during school and have nothing to do, why not take a nap? If a student knows that he or she has a study hall or a free the next day, they can plan on staying up to do a bit doing homework because they know they can take a nap during that period.  If teachers are worried about students oversleeping and missing class, an alarm clock in the room and possibly a teacher to check that students are awake would do the trick.  If for some reason a student still did not show up to class on time, he or she could simply be banned from using the room in the future.

Teens aren’t getting the required amount of sleep that their still growing bodies need, which can affect their performance in school; so, if school is not going to start later or end earlier, a place for them to sleep during study halls or frees is a great idea!