According to a study released Thursday by CDC (the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) schools are to blame for students’ lack of sleep. School starts too early in the morning and this prevents students for getting the right amount of sleep necessary for their health.
Last year both middle schools and high schools were urged by the American Academy of Pediatrics not to start school earlier than 8:30 a.m. so that teenagers can get the recommended amount of sleep each night, that is between 8.5 and 9.5 hours. This measure was recommended because teenagers are biologically programmed to stay up late at night compared to adults.
CDC has revealed that 83 percent of schools start before the recommended hour. According to their report 39.700 public schools start at the average time of 8:03 a.m. The data was between 2011 and 2012. Besides later school start times the CDC also recommends parents to make sure that students are going to bed earlier.
Daniel Domenech, executive director of the School Superintendents Association (AASA) on the other hand believes that early school start times are not something new and so far this has not hurt anybody. According to him if schools were to start later it would be more difficult for students to make it in time for their after-school jobs. It would also make it difficult for after-school sporting events to unfold since teams must take buses to various district parts. In addition this would mean that during winter time elementary kids will have to walk to school or wait at bus stops in the dark. This will pose safety dangers.
The state with the earliest average school start time was Louisiana where children start school at 7:40 a.m. The latest average school start time was reported in Alaska: 8:33 a.m.
Physician M. Safwan Badr, a former president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine remarked:
It makes absolutely no sense. You’re asking kids to learn math at a time their brains are not even awake.This is a major public health issue.”
For now students have to wake up early since administrations have done anything about this issue. Until any measure will be taken children, teenagers and adults as well are recommended to have a consistent bedtime including in weekends.
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