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Later Start Times

Samira Cortes, Staff Writer

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Every morning at 8 a.m., I am instructed to be in school and in class; and if I’m being honest, I’m tired most of the time. I probably  didn’t get enough sleep.

Like most teenagers in my school, I either did my homework late at night, stayed up watching a movie, or simply couldn’t sleep. And I’m not blaming the school for this: it’s my fault and no one else’s. Sleep deprivation impairs our ability to be alert, pay attention, solve problems, cope with stress and retain information.

This can cause a significant risk for drowsy driving; emotional and behavioral problems such as irritability, depression, poor impulse control and violence. It can cause many health complaints. It can lead tobacco and alcohol use. It can harm our cognitive functions and decision-making. It can also lower overall performance in everything from academics to athletics.

Adolescents require 91/2 hours of sleep, but a study shows that the average adolescent gets fewer than 7 hours of sleep. A study done by the National Sleep Association, shows that schools with a start time after 8:30 am had a higher overall academic performance. Later start times can not only improve our performance in school, but it can improve how we feel while being in school.

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