Teenagers Need More Sleep


Sena Ummak, Staff Writer

Ever since its discovery, psychology has time and time again proven the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation and, only recently, underestimated the dangers of it. New research reveals that sleep deprivation doubles the odds of making place keeping errors and triples the number of lapses in attention. (Sciencedaily, unnamed author) These reasons were why the California legislature passed a law forbidding schools to start no earlier than 8:30 am. This law is intended to positively affect almost every student in California, a law that includes all demographics, as it’s intended to increase test scores, attendance, and graduation rates without costing money, (New York Times, Hauser) after many Californian students like Libby Vastano complained about the lack of people coming into school in shape to face the day. Dr. Sumit Bhargava adds that student’s brains are still developing and that sleep deprivation can weaken the brain’s future ability to protect the body and that students would feel less anxious and less depressed and perform better academically. (Hauser)

Yet the state governments that control school times and the schools’ board of educations huff and complain when students rise up and complain about an issue that requires a lot of work to amend. When they’re finally forced to come face to face with this issue, they say, along with some other local supporters, that this will affect sports schedules, pushing back times that’ll have students coming home during the evening. However, the pros outway the cons even in this instance. In David G. Myers’ AP psychology textbook, when two major researchers of this topic, James Maas and Rebecca Robbins convinced the Orlando Magic to cut morning practices, the athletes of the team had faster reaction times, more energy, and greater endurance. (Psychology Second Edition for AP, Myers) A similar solution was found when figure skater Sarah Hughs felt like she was athletically unmotivated and could not score any higher, Maas instructed her to cut her morning classes, which ultimately allowed her to win a 2002 Olympic gold medal. (Myers) Another source further specified that Maas told Hughes to cut two hours off of her morning routine to sleep instead to strengthen her muscle memory and for her to be able to fully commit to the routine. (Won Woo Kim, thephillipianonline.com) If the decrease in the number of hours she practiced in the morning dramatically increased the performance of adult Sarah Hughes, then imagine the change that would occur if teenage students were given the same opportunity.



https://hialeahhigh.enschool.org/ourpages/auto/2017/8/20/70579741/Myers-D_-G_2010_-Psychology-9th-edition2.pdf (I couldn’t find the second edition where I got my quotes from)