The Argus

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The Argus

The Argus

I Stayed Up All Night Finishing This Essay


On a regular school day I usually get about 4 to 6 hours of sleep a night.I go to sleep between midnight and 2 AM so I can wake up at 6 AM and get ready for the day, eat breakfast, and make it to my bus at around 7 AM. I get on my bus and ride to school, and then at 7:35 AM I have to be at my 1st Period, and from there I have to go through 7 hours of class after class, all while still running on 4 to 6 hours of sleep.

Sometimes though, I also stay up because I need to crank out an assignment that’s due, like I’m doing right now by finishing this essay the day before it’s due, so I end up getting even less sleep that night, perhaps even none at all. And sometimes after that I fall asleep and I sleep in too much and I end up being late to school. And after the school day is said and done and I go home, I can’t help but collapse into my bed and fall asleep after school. Everyday, no matter how much sleep I get that night, when I wake up in the morning to go to school, I always think to myself, “Why does school have to start so early?”

I can’t come up with a good answer to that question. I acknowledge that not all of the problems I just listed can just be magically solved by pushing school back an hour or two, however I still don’t see a good reason for schools, specifically Gresham High School, to be starting at 7:35 in the morning. So I will be giving my opinion on why Gresham High School should consider starting later in the day, and how that would benefit the students that attend here.

To start off, I feel I should give a percentage of high school students who struggle with a lack of sleep. According to Healthline, teenagers, 73% of high school students are not regularly getting the right amount of sleep, which is 8 to 10 hours of sleep. With almost 3/4 of high schoolers not getting a healthy amount of sleep, including myself, it’s inevitable that many high schoolers won’t be in the right state of mind to learn.

For example, when students are sleep deprived, they aren’t as attentive and aware compared to when they get a healthy amount of sleep. Students will naturally pay less attention to the things around them, and thus, pay less attention in class. I can at least say that about myself. When I’m heavily sleep deprived, say after staying up all night, I find it hard to pay attention to the teacher and the lesson, and I find it even harder to focus on whatever class work I have that day.

Because students can struggle to pay attention to the lesson or their classwork, this could lead to potentially doing worse in school than if they got the proper amount of sleep they need. There are many students who suffer from a lack of sleep, whether it’s from school work or otherwise, and I believe that schools should be doing more to help students in such circumstances, including Gresham High School.
However, students struggling to pay attention isn’t the only reason schools should consider starting later. Getting more sleep can actually improve your memory and your ability to retain memories up to 20 to 40% according to the University of Pennsylvania. So for example, if you were in class and you got a healthy amount of sleep, you would retain more from the lesson than if you didn’t get a healthy amount of sleep.

This is also true for studying, and studying late into the night and sacrificing your sleep. If you were to study and then get a healthy amount of sleep after, you would retain more of what you studied than if you were to sacrifice getting more sleep for more time to study. However, many students still choose to study longer and later into the night. Students can still highly benefit from schools starting later in the day because they get more sleep.

So with all of this being said, about how healthy sleep can mean students will be able to pay attention more, and retain more information from lessons and studying, I still have yet to answer my biggest question. Why does school have to start so early? And I think my answer is that it doesn’t. Gresham High School has no reason to start at 7:35 in the morning when there are so many people who would get so many benefits from starting later, including me.

Like I said, I acknowledge that schools starting earlier isn’t going to solve all of my problems. For example, I was the one who decided to procrastinate writing this essay until the night before it was due. But for people like me, who struggle with not getting enough sleep at night, being late to school for sleeping in, and paying attention to their teachers and classwork, we would all benefit if schools were to simply start school later.

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