Sleep Deprivation and Students Grades

Essay by 890765High School, 11th gradeA+, September 2008

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As a student, I value the many things that the school board has done to improve our amazing school. It has however come to the attention of many of the students that you have a plan in place to begin the school day earlier. Although it is understandable that more must be done in a day or busses need to be accommodated for, but the students should be thought of first. There are studies that show starting the school day earlier will have detrimental effects on students in the long term.

A major determinant of a student’s grade depends on their amount of sleep. A study conducted in Rhode Island and Minnesota by the “Center for Applied Research and Education Improvement”, collected and compiled data about student sleep patterns in comparison to their grade point average. This study showed that in both states, students who receive grades in the “A” range, had approximately thirty more minutes of sleep than colleges who received grades in the “D” and “F” grade range.

One rationalization for starting school earlier may be, “Why don’t the students just go to sleep earlier?” This is a common misconception. New research is showing that while going through the stages of puberty, teenagers are biologically programmed to go to sleep late, and wake up late.

According to Brown University’s professor of psychiatry, Mary A. Carskadon, adolescents need more sleep, not less, than when they were younger. In addition, students going through puberty are biologically programmed to a “sleep late, rise late” schedule.

Carskadon’s study took fifteen students who were transitioning from junior high (9th grade) to high school. (10th grade) The students go to bed at the same time, but due to the start time at the high school, the 10th graders need to wake approximately one...