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Sleepy Days Are Over… Essay, Research Paper


“I have a dream ” said Martin Luther King Jr. But why was he able to have a dream? It is probably because he was able to get enough sleep, unlike the high-schoolers of today. Almost every high-schooler in the United States would agree, we need more sleep. At my high school on Southern Whidbey Island, school starts at the unbearable early time of 7:30 am. That is just too early to start school. Most high schoolers don’t even wake up until lunchtime; they simply just sleep through first and second period. Take me for example, I go to sleep on average 12 o’clock ever night, wake up around 6:30 in the morning. By the time I get to school, I am ready to go to sleep again. If you looked at my 1st period grade, you would come to the conclusion that there must be something wrong; and there is! That is why I think that if the start time of high schools were to be changed just half-an-hour later, it would benefit all the teachers, students, and parents in Washington State.

Scientists have been researching and documenting the sleep patterns of high schoolers for years. The have found that there is a gland in our brain called the Pineal Gland. The Pineal Gland releases a substance called Melatonin. Melatonin, when released, makes you feel tired, and make you want to go to sleep. At 7:30-8:00pm melatonin is released in ages 7-13. In ages 14-15, melatonin is released at 9:00-9:30pm. High schoolers’ (upperclassmen) melatonin is not released into the blood stream until 10:30-11:00pm. Causing us high schoolers to go to sleep later and wake up earlier. Why should little kids go to bed earlier and wake up later than high schoolers? The little kids obviously don’t need the sleep, because they are up early enough to watch the early morning cartoons. The administration and government should switch the start times of the little kid schools and the high schools. Michigan State is trying out later starts for high schoolers, and ever since it was in affect, test scores, attitude, and attendance are rising to a more positive level. Crimes, such as vandalism, have been severely cut back, along with student fighting.

The two main concerns of this idea are bus schedules and sports. The bus schedule is easy to fix. All the schools would have to do is switch the little kid’s bus times with the high schoolers bus times. This is good because it would not cost the administration anymore money. Sports would be affected too, because the practices would get out later, which may affect an athlete’s grades. The school buses, that take the team to other schools for competition, would have to leave earlier from school, possibly affecting an athlete’s grades even more. The school systems have a athletic code, and in it there is material that describes what kind of academic standings an athlete must be at to play. If an athlete meets the academic standings in the athletic code, then it should be the athlete’s choice, whether or not they should sacrifice school to participate in their sport.

As you can see, starting Washington State’s High Schools just half-an-hour later would benefit all the students, teachers, and parents in Washington State. So what do we have to loose? Exactly, nothing. In conclusion, the high schoolers of today are the leaders of tomorrow, and without us “DREAMING,” what will this place we call “home” become?

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