Should School Start Later: Influence of Age on Child Development

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Most children despise getting up in the mornings for school. A large number of kids report not getting enough sleep, especially teenagers. The concept I would like to introduce, starting school later, is so students can do better in school, physically and mentally. This can also improve other external conflicts that can affect students who do not get sufficient sleep. The kids who are drained can not thrive to do their best. Sleep deprivation affects the memory, learning, and attention as much as it affects well-being and overall health. Scholastic improvements have been presented and even the conditions at such when schools are starting the day later. (SSL 2017) Schools in other countries start in different times than in the United States. In Japan, schools normally start by 8:30 A.M. and generally end by 3:00 P.M. (web Japan 2017) In the United States, virtually 10% of schools start before 7:30 A.M., 40% start before 8 A.M., and only around 15% start before 8:30 A.M. (SSL 2017)

The AASM advices that teenagers should get a sleep of eight to ten hours a night, but 70% of high school students say they only receive less than 7 hours. Relatively as kids go through puberty, their brains start producing a hormone called melatonin. It is a sleep-inducing hormone that makes it hard for them to feel worn out before 11 P.M. This makes it harder for adolescents to fall asleep as early as younger children or older adults. (Macmillan) “Why do teens in particular need a later start time? It is not mere crankiness or laziness. There are unique physiological and development changes that humans go through before entering adulthood that incline them to go to bed and wake up later than those who are younger or older.” “For many people in their growth spurt, which is in the middle and high school, their bodies are telling them to go to sleep later, and to sleep later in the day.” (Fenwick) During the 1950’s and 1960’s, multiple schools in the United States began between 8:30 A.M and 9 A.M. As decades passed, they started pushing the school day earlier. (TISST) In the 1990’s, sleep analysts and experts have been revealing to us that early school hours are hurting kids. The hours needed for the well being of the human body are not being reached, which can cause sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation can cause several health problems. (SSL 2017) Sleep loss makes the body release small amounts of human growth hormone.

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When we are growing, we need that hormone in order to develop growth. When our bodies mature, it helps thicken skin, empower bones, and increase muscle mass. (Peri) Several people have come across those nights where missed sleep has happened and dull skin has occurred. Sleep deprivation can cause lackluster skin, dark circles, and soft lines. The stress hormone, cortisol, comes into play when you do not get adequate sleep. When extreme amounts of cortisol are produced, it can break down collagen of the skin. Collagen is a protein that preserves the skin’s softness and smoothness. (Peri) Numerous research tests are putting obesity to chronic sleep loss together. Not getting enough sleep can rattle hormones that regulate hunger. Sleep deprivation can furthermore cutback your desire to workout. They are more likely to grumble about headaches, basic pain, and stomaches. (Morgan) Investigation has proven that students that receive fewer than eight hours of sleep were two-thirds higher to injuries than the kids who do. If you increase your hours of sleep, you will not be as sluggish, drained, have better reflexes, have better counterbalance, and hand eye coordination. (Education Degree) Not getting the correct amount of sleep can shift your levels of hormones which can put added stress on the body. (Morgan) Being safe while driving to school is very important. Changing the start of the school system can decrease accidents on automobiles caused by drowsy teenage drivers.

A school district changed their starting times an hour later. This caused crash rates to drop by 16.5%. Mental health problems are issues like depression, anger issues, suicidal ideation, and anxiety. All of these illnesses are associated with shortness of sleep. Depression comes into contact with sleep which assembles adolescents into an unbalanced course. (Morgan) After an unsettling night, you might be short-tempered or easily angered. Studies have let us known that even a fraction of sleep loss can have a big effect on your mood. (Epstein) Anxiety problems are in cope with sleeping problems. Not to mention, those with sleep disorders are in possibility for high blood pressure, a stroke, diabetes, irregular heartbeat, and heart disease. (ADAA 2016) Teenagers that are not getting enough sleeping are in the risk of being discontent with their lives. They may not want to cooperate in activities like going out with friends, etc. due to not having as much energy. Most likely they may have mood swings that get in the way of relationships. An adolescent's judgement when tired is very critical to their safety and overall well-being. This can increase the probability that a teen will abuse alcohol or drugs. (Morgan) Arriving at home sooner in the afternoon can reduce the chances of a kid being home alone, thus decreasing the long shot of them alluring in bad activities. (Morin) Did you ever think that too much caffeine might not be the best thing for you?

About 1.6 billion cups, that is right, with a “B” are consumed each day. Do not get me wrong, caffeine has potential health benefits, but the bad outweigh the good. The effects depend from person to person. Drinking more than 500 - 600 mg of caffeine per day can direct to restlessness, irritability, an upset stomach, insomnia, and muscle tremors. People with anxiety disorders are more swayed to the effects caffeine has to offer. Many people can turn out to be dependent on caffeine which can trigger manifestations of headaches, fatigue, drowsiness, depression, nausea and vomiting. Pediatricians suggest for teenagers and children to stay away from caffeine, due to it being undiscovered what it does to a developing brain. Research has shown that caffeine interferes with sleep. (Whiteman) Teenagers may not reckon on relying on caffeine to stay awake during the day if the times are changed. (Mornin) Students who earn below average grades are in the likelihood of receiving twenty five less minutes of sleep and go to sleep forty minutes later than the students who get above average grades. Paying attention and following along in class can become very challenging when you are not getting enough sleep.

Sleep deprivation can fall into memory impairment that can hinder with the education that the child needs and overall scholastic success. (Morgan) Sleepless nights can make you start forgetting things. “In 2009, American and French researchers determined the brain events called “sharp wave ripples” are responsible for consolidating memory. The ripples also transfer learned information from the hippocampus to the neocortex of the brain, where long-term memories are stored.” (Peri) Hundreds of schools around the United States have replaced later times and found success. (SSL 2017) Analysts that reviewed information from more than 9,000 students at eight high schools in Minnesota, Colorado, and Wyoming and discovered that moving the school day later in the morning emerged in an improvement in attendance, test scores, and grades in english, math, social studies, and science. The schools that switched saw a decline in substance abuse, symptoms of depression, and tardies as well. (Richmond) Change needs to happen in order to reach academic excellence. Making students wanting to learn and feel comfortable at their own school is something that we as a whole have not reached yet. Having all these risky factors affect the adults of tomorrow is not profitable for our future. Changing the way school runs can play a humongous role in the essential learning of children and teenagers in the United States.

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