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Chronic Sleep Loss in Teenagers

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As the new school year begins, teens will once again find themselves struggling to wake up on time so they can get to school on time or even early, while also struggling to stay awake during class. However, doctors are getting concerned. Doctor Owen says, Chronic sleep loss in teenagers and adolescents is one of the most common – and easily fixable – public health issues in the U.S. today. The research is clear that adolescents who get enough sleep have a reduced risk of being overweight or suffering depression, are less likely to be involved in automobile accidents, and have better grades, higher standardized test scores, and an overall better quality of life.

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Studies have shown that delaying early school start times is one key factor that can help adolescents get the sleep they need to grow and learn.” School starts early for many reasons, by delaying school mornings, the life of students, teachers, and parents would be controlled by school and school activities. It has been scientifically proven that teenagers are not morning people. They have a biological tendency to stay up at night and sleep later in the morning. Also, it has been proven that teenagers are getting less of the eight to nine hours of sleep they should be getting.

With large numbers of students falling asleep during class or else loading up on caffeinated beverages so as to stay awake, many doctors have become worried about their health, “The AAP is making a definitive and powerful statement about the importance of sleep to the health, safety, performance, and well-being of our nation’s youth” Owens says. “By advocating for later school start times for middle and high school students, the AAP is both promoting the compelling scientific evidence that supports school start time delay as an important public health measure, and providing support and encouragement to those school districts around the country contemplating that change.” Urging school officials to push back the time school starts.

The only problem is, that’s much easier said than done.Starting school later means a lot more than just giving teenagers the sleep they need. It is also changing a teenagers schudule during a day, which is very difficult. Students under the age of sixteen usually depend on their parents for transportation. And if school starts later it will either make their parents late for work or the students late for school. So if the parent didn’t want to be late for work they would have to drop their student off early at school, which would mean that the teenager would still not be getting enough sleep.

One other problem with school starting later would be the students who have extra activities after school. It will make them even more busy to a later time than they already were. This would cause them to get home later and eat later, which is not a healthy choice. And not to mention they have their own homework to do. Also in the winter it gets dark earlier, and students would be getting home at dark hours, which is dangerous. If school starts earlier, then that would mean school would have to stay open later than it already does for after school activities that go on after school. They would also have to be open earlier as well for students who have to be dropped off early because they don’t have a way of transportation other than their parents.

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Now all schools start at different times and some a lot earlier than others. And discussing on what the appropriate time for school to start is a different matter. But school that start earlier than 7: 30 are not good for the students” health at all. A reasonable time for schools to start is 8: 00-8: 45 so that the students are not completely sleepy but still awake enough to comprehend what they are learning and not forget. Besides the problem with sleep, school should not start early. Making school start later would only make things more stressful for the students, parents and workers for the school. Even though it is very unpleasant and exhausting having to wake up early in the morning for school it is better for everyone.

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Chronic Sleep Loss in Teenagers. (2018, December 17). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 5, 2023, from
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