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Peer's Draft

Peer's Draft

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Published by Meghan Osler
Peer's Draft
Peer's Draft

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Published by: Meghan Osler on Dec 03, 2012
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12/04/2012

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Williams 1
Katie WilliamsInstructor: Malcolm CampbellEnglish 110311/7/2012
 Meghan Osler Review
America’s Future Needs More Rest
As a recently graduated high school student who had a child and worked a full-time jobwhile in high school, I understand completely that most high school students aren’t gettingenough sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), teenagers need at least eightand a half hours of sleep a night (although nine and a quarter hours is ideal), and only fifteen percent of teens are getting that eight and a half hours on school nights.Sleep habits change for teenagers, making both the time that teens feel ready for bed andthe time they feel ready to wake up later than younger children and grown adults. Sleepdeprivation can cause teens ability to learn and listen to suffer, it can cause depression,aggressive behavior, it can also increase the chances of teens eating unhealthy, and increaseteen’s use of alcohol and drugs (mainly tobacco). (Teens and Sleep; School Start)There is an obvious issue of sleep deprivation in high school students. Parents, teachers,and especially students alike will agree that students are suffering from exhaustion and withafter-school jobs, activities, sports, clubs, homework, and social/family life, there just isn’tenough time in the day for teenagers to get everything they must do done, and to get eight to ninehours of sleep a night. I believe many people would look at this issue and say “So what?Teenagers are tired, they need to get their priorities straight and go to bed earlier.” I worry thatnot enough people take this topic seriously. The main problem here is that when students aresleep deprived they don’t perform their best in school. High school is very important; it often
 
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determines what path these teens will take for the rest of their lives. Performance in high schooldecides what colleges and universities students can get accepted to, it also can decide whether or not the student will be able to afford to go to college or not. Many students depend on financialaid in order to attend college at all, and many forms of financial aid are based on students’academic performance in high school. This is common knowledge-everyone knows that highschool is essential for a teenager’s future and with this being the case people need to realize thatstudents will have a much better chance of success in their life if they have the best opportunityfor success in high school. Students perform better when they are well rested, sleep is essential tosuccess.I also believe that many people would respond to the problem of sleep deprivation in highschool students by simply asserting that going to bed earlier would solve the issue. This is not anoption for most high school students. Many students have to work after school and usually don’tget off of work until between the hours of 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. Also, after-school activities,especially sports, keep students out into the evening hours, and by the time they get home, havedinner, and do homework, there is no time to go to bed earlier. Going to bed earlier would alsonot be a solution to this issue because research by the University of Minnesota shows that the brain chemical Melatonin (a hormone that causes sleepiness and/or drowsiness) is released inteenagers from approximately 11 p.m. to 8 a.m., meaning that the teen is still going to be in sleepmode until at least 8 a.m., no matter what time the teenager goes to sleep. (Later Start)The University of Minnesota, through Kyla Wahlstrom and her research team, has performed extensive research on the subject of sleep deprivation in high school students andwhether or not making high school start times later would be entirely possible, and if so, whether 
 
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or not the later start times would be beneficial enough to the students to be worth the effort tochange the times in the long run.Wahlstrom’s team studied two Minneapolis-area school districts that changed their starttimes to 8:30 a.m. or later. Parents from the schools were initially worried about things such as busing and sports, but after one year of the later start times 92 percent of parents from one of thehigh schools who responded to a survey preferred the later start time. The school districts alsoreported less student depression, a lower dropout rate, and students reported having higher grades after the change. (Later Start)So if we have established that the problem of sleep deprivation in high school students isa serious issue that ought to be addressed, we must decide, what do we do to prevent and/or endsleep deprivation in high school students? The most logical and practical solution to thisdilemma appears to be to push back high school start times so that students can sleep in untilabout 8 a.m., when the secretion of melatonin will be slacking off, the ideal time for teens to getup.I contacted the Superintendent of Gaston County Schools, Reeves McGlohon, whoagreed that high school students need more rest, but brought up a number of issues with delayinghigh school start times that many school administrators and parents are concerned about, first of which is transportation. Gaston County runs a dual transportation system (which I believe thatmany other counties with limited funds also run on a dual transportation system), that is buses pick up middle and high school students and take them to school and then the same buses come back and pick up the elementary school students and then take them to school.Mr. McGlohon asserts that if you reverse the bus schedule so that the high schoolstudents can get more rest, than the elementary school students would be picked up first, and that

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