Young distressed student sleeping on the desk. See other images in my Back to School lightbox
You know when your alarm goes off and your like it can’t possibly be time to get up yet? That’s because, according to science, you’re getting up way too early. The American Academy of Pediatrics did a study, and found that, for kids to get a reasonable amount of sleep, classes need to start after8:30 a.m. But when they studied over 39,700 schools, the average start time was — wait for it — 8:03 a.m. What? You should definitely still be hitting snooze that early.
According to the CDC, two-thirds of high school students aren’t even getting eight hours of sleep, let alone the eight and half that’s recommended for their age group. This can increase serious health risks, like obesity and a tendency towards abuse of tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs. When this kind of deprivation happens over a long period of time, the risks only get worse — we’re talking heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Yikes!
Not to mention the fact that you just can’t give your all in school if you’re constantly dozing off. It’s a vicious cycle. Spend all day trying to pay attention in school, come back, spend all night working on the homework you weren’t able to understand, repeat. Nobody wins, and everybody is tired of it.
So what’s the next step? Schools need to realize that if they want to provide the best education for student, they have to consider student life outside the classroom. Hopefully studies like this will get the attention of principal and superintendents who have the power to make these changes. In the meantime, work on budgeting your time, and always put your health first. Even if that means ending your Netflix binge an episode early.