Why School Should Start Later
In Foster’s article, “The Science of Sleepy Teenagers,” he argues that the amount of sleep teenagers are receiving is detrimental to not only their minds, but their mood and health as well. Without enough sleep, our bodies are unable to function to their full potential. This only perpetuates as the years go on, and eventually our bodies shut down.
Foster discusses how teenagers need way more sleep than adults do and the amount of sleep we need changes as our age increases. During puberty, teenagers need the most sleep out of any age group so according to Foster, “for a teenager, a 7 a.m. alarm call is the equivalent of a 5 a.m. start for people in their 50s,” which can be detrimental in many aspects. As a teenager and a student, I have seen throughout my whole life the effects that lack of sleep can have. It lowers the immune system, making it harder to fight off bacteria, leading to an increase in sickness and overall decrease in body functionality. Lack of sleep affects every aspect of our health, leading to an overall “tired adolescent” (Foster) which also makes for “a grumpy, moody, insensitive, angry, and stressed” (Foster) teenager as well. Nobody enjoys struggling to open our eyes every morning and then falling asleep in class due to such exhaustion. Along with our mental health that is affected due to a lack of sleep, sleep deprivation can also be linked to “predisposing people to conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension;” (Foster) all of which can be avoided if classes started later, enabling us growing teenagers to get the amount of sleep we need to properly function, grow, and thrive.
Foster, Russell, and Josh Voorhees. “The Science of Sleepy Teenagers.” Slate, Apr. 2013. Slate.