Wake Up Sleepy Head

Farmington Public Schools' middle schools and high schools should start and end one hour later.

Dillon Saleh, Op-Ed Contributor

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I hate alarm clocks. Their constant beeping suddenly wakes me up while I’m busy riding a unicorn across the sky or shooting arrows at a fire-breathing dragon. Almost all teenagers hate waking up so early in the morning, and there is good reason for this. As a younger child grows older, they go to bed later and later. A teenager’s natural sleep cycle is to go to sleep later and wake up later. This is why Farmington Public Schools’ middle schools and high schools should start and end one hour later.

A teenager’s biological clock tells them to fall asleep at approximately 11 o’clock at night. This is due to a teenager’s changing hormones, which affects their circadian rhythm. Melatonin is the hormone that causes humans to feel the urge to go to sleep, and teenagers have a have a delayed release in melatonin. Therefore, this causes a teenager to go to sleep later, but they still have to wake up early for school. As a result, teenagers get less sleep, which can have a dramatic effect on every aspect of the student’s life both in and outside of school.

A later start time also has an large effect on a students’ academics. The University of Minnesota conducted a study consisting of  9,000 high school students to see how a later start and end time would affect the students. The results showed that students test scores, grades, and performance in core subjects improved significantly when the school day started later. It also showed that students attendance improved. In addition, since the students were more rested they were more enthusiastic about being at school. This is a good indicator that a later start time has a positive effect on students at school.

I personally hate waking up every morning after not being able to go to sleep the night before until late. When I finally fall asleep, all the rest I get decreases significantly due to such early mornings.

Shifting school times one hour later will decrease depression and car accidents for students. Teenagers who report feeling depressed also report being tired during the day and not getting enough sleep at night. Along with this, being sleep deprived causes impaired driving which can lead to an increase of car accidents. Every year there are about 100,000 accidents due to driving drowsy. Making the change in school times will keep students happy and safe.  

Some say that starting and ending school an hour later gives students less time for extracurricular activities and sports. However, when the school shifts an hour back all the after school activities would as well. With this, I think students performance in these activities would improve because they would be more rested.

Farmington Public School District needs to make the change and shift middle school and high school start and end times back one hour. With this change, students’ hormones won’t have a negative effect on the quality of their sleep. Also the students’ academics, attendance and enthusiasm toward school would improve. In addition, students would be less prone to depression and the risk for car accidents would be decreased. If this change was granted, the lives of the students would be affected now, and for many years to come.

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About the Writer
Dillon Saleh, Contributor

Dillon is an eighth grade dude who plays baseball and tennis competitively. He plays baseball for the South Farmington Blues. During his spare time, he likes to play Fortnite on his PS4. Also, when he grows up he wants to be an entrepreneur.

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