The student news site of Riverton High School in Riverton, Utah

The Silver Scribe

Should Sleep Come Before School?

Allie Harvey, Features/News Section Editor

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Students at Riverton are too busy falling asleep in class to actually get something out of it. Students want school start later, and so does science. There are hundreds of studies and articles warning against the early starting times of school, but many schools still start before 8:30, and it could be damaging teens brains and GPA’s.

According to a poll taken in 2006 by The National Sleep Foundation, 87% of high schoolers are failing to achieve the recommended 8-10 hours of sleep. This could be contributed to many factors, but the largest is the time that school starts every day. A study done by The American Academy of Pediatrics found that school should start no earlier than 8:30, but Riverton students are still required to be at school by 7:30. The adolescent brain functions at it’s peak at 10 am and have a harder time earlier in the morning. Ninety percent of students are chronically sleep deprived according to a survey taken in 2014. Should students still be required to be here at 7:30, even when it might not be beneficial.

Colton Henrickson is a junior at Riverton High School, and believes that school interferes with his mental and physical health. “I stay up late working on assignments, and then I have to wake up extremely early to go back to school and work for seven or eight hours. It’s exhausting, and by the end of the week, I’m completely drained. After a while, it becomes mentally straining to keep following the same procedure on the daily.” On top of this, many students participate in extracurricular activities that take up most of the afternoon and evening, making it harder to get in those precious hours of sleep.

Regardless of what time school begins, there are things that students can do to increase the hours of sleep they ultimately have each night. A huge contributing factor of sleep deprivation is electronics. The blue light that phones, tv’s, and gaming systems emit make it harder for your brain to shut itself down enough to fall asleep. By putting all electronics away an hour before you plan on falling asleep, and refraining from keeping electronics in your room at night, you can keep a steady circadian rhythm. Ten minutes of meditation or other calming and centering activities like yoga have been proven to increase the quality of your sleep. Naps have also been proven to increase mental function, but if you nap for more than an hour it can disrupt your sleep later that night.

Since students won’t likely be able to change the time school starts, it’s important that they take matters into their own hands. By being responsible with your own sleep cycle, you can take control of your life and your grades.

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The student news site of Riverton High School in Riverton, Utah
Should Sleep Come Before School?