Tired Teens

In all my years at P-CEP, I could almost guarantee I’ve seen at least one student sleeping at school every day.  Students who go to P-CEP start school at 7:10 A.M. Some of the students have their buses pick them up at 6:10, an hour before school starts! There are reasons why school starts this early, including coordination with middle and elementary schools, and after-school activities.

However, if students are falling asleep easily at a desk, this should tell us that something is wrong. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teens need around 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night to function at their best. We all know from personal experience that this is not the case for most of the people we know. Our friends complain to us of late nights studying for a test or getting home late from a meet or practice having to stay up to do homework. Salem junior Kimaya Rafai says, “I personally, since freshman year, would come to school late because I would try to get some sleep.  I stay up doing homework late, and once it’s past 12 A.M. it’s hard for me to get up the next day.” We have probably experienced this too. While we can’t help this much, we could change the start time of school. Pushing this time back by thirty minutes could make a world of difference. Salem senior Aaron Samra explains, “I feel that [a later start time] will help students retain more information in class, due to being able to get more sleep.” Personally, I have had to struggle with late nights due to swim meets, something I know is unavoidable. However, even 30 minutes extra of sleep would help me in the morning; I could wake up at 6:40 am and still be fine.

A lack of sleep causes us to not do our best in school, or in sports, no matter how hard we try. I often struggle with waking up early and sometimes even catch myself falling asleep in class. I know that this small change would help several other students who have difficult classes, demanding sports or both.