Recently, there has been some controversy about whether California schools should push back their start times to improve student’s health by getting more sleep. Studies show that instead of the recommended 9 hours of sleep, high school students average less than 7 hours of sleep.
A good night’s rest is needed for optimal performance and health and brain development. From after school activities, jobs, family obligations, and school work, most students lack the sleep they need to properly function from going to bed late and having to wake up early to go to school.
The main reason schools are so aware and concerned for the students is because the consequences of sleep deprivation affect their learning opportunities.
Sleep deprivation impairs students ability to stay alert, pay attention in class, and solve problems. A risk to sleep deprivation is also drowsy driving, depression, alcohol or tobacco use, and even lowers performance in everything from academics to athletics.
To solve this problem, the governor of California has proposed a law to make every school begin at 8 o’clock to allow students to get the proper rest to perform well at school.
Overall, having later start times isn’t going to add more hours in the day, so it is important for students to be aware of their bodies sleep needs to function.