Sleep Deprivation In High School

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The Huffington Post claims that about 90% of American High School Students are chronically sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation is a serious problem for teenagers, as it can lead to a number of problems. First, there are mood problems like irritability and crankiness. It can also lead to behavioral problems like drinking, driving fast, and engaging in other dangerous activities. Drowsy driving can also happen, with teens at the highest risk of falling asleep at the wheel. However, two of the most detrimental effects are impacts in cognitive function and academic performance. Teens who don’t get enough sleep can have problems with attention and memory, leading to poorer grades in school. According to the Sleep Foundation, “Teens spend a great portion of each day in school; however, they are unable to maximize the learning opportunities afforded by the education system, since sleep deprivation impairs their ability to be alert, pay attention, solve problems, cope with stress and retain information.” The main cause of sleep deprivation is the early start to the school day. Schools start extremely early, with no schools starting before 8:30 am in the entire states of Hawaii, Mississippi, or Wyoming, according to the CDC. In fact, 42 states reported that 75% to 100% of their schools start before 8:30am. Schools are only hurting themselves with these early start times. Pamela McKeever, of Central Connecticut State University, did a study which analyzed the start times, graduation
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