Many adolescents struggle to wake up early for school. They are often cranky, skip breakfast and miss important directions. In order to allow kids to be more successful in school, administrators should start school later in the day. Research shows that teens inability to get out of bed before 8am is a matter of human biology not attitude. The sleep patterns of the teenage brain are different from those of younger children and adults, said Mary Carskadon of Brown University. Starting school later can help adolescents get enough sleep and improve their health, academic performance, and quality of life. Letting teenagers sleep-in actually makes them happier. Getting more sleep can also improve test scores.
Teenagers are developmentally driven to be late to bed, late to rise. Many kids say they are unable to focus when they wake up early and can barely remember what the teacher was teaching. Teens who get less than 9 hours of sleep are more likely to rely on caffeine, tobacco and alcohol, said Amy Morin, a specialist in child behavior. Also, when kids get homework that is part of their grade they will stay up all night to get it done. In the morning teens rush to get all of their stuff together and forget to even eat breakfast. Breakfast is important and necessary because it improves concentration, said Lindsay Boyers, a nutrition specialist. When you eat breakfast you will have more energy to start the day off with, you can also focus more. “In the teens, the secretion of the sleep hormone melatonin begins at about 10:45 p.m. and continues until about 8 a.m. What this means is that teenagers are unable to fall asleep until melatonin secretion begins and they are also not able to awaken until the melatonin secretion stops.” said kyla Wahlstorm a research fellow in Organizational Leadership
This is why School administrators should make school shorter. When parents set a bedtime for teens to sleep at and it is anything before 10 the teens will not be able to fall asleep early they forget to eat breakfast. Now is the time to contact local school officials about later school start times. School districts may claim that their transportation costs will go up and starting later may cause scheduling difficulties. However, the benefit outweighs the negatives. We need to put our kids’ needs health first so they can be better academic achievers and have a positive attitude because they are well rested.