Sleep deprivation takes a heavy toll


On a day-to-day basis I often spend hours completing homework, attending charity meetings and fulfilling my duties on various school clubs. With all that being said, I usually fall asleep around 12:00 in the morning. A mere six hours later, the blaring sounds of “Wake Up” by Arcade Fire signal me to get up from the comfort of my bed.

According to a 2006 National Sleep Foundation poll, 87 percent of high school students do not get the nine to ten hours of sleep they need.

With less than six hours of sleep a night, it is not uncommon for me to daze off in the middle of class and even take a brief nap.

An article published in the health section of Time magazine reported on a study conducted by  the American Academy of Pediatricians. It stated, “30% of students report falling asleep in class at least once a week.”

Sleep deprivation is definitely something that I have struggled with throughout high school.

Rather than paying attention to discussions in class, I often find myself dreaming of my plush lavender covers and the scent of the marshmallow fireside candle to the right of my bed.

With that being said, my lack of sleep has affected my academic achievement.

Being a hypochondriac, I often think I suffer from short term memory loss in school. A teacher will review a concept in class and then a few minutes later when we are given practice worksheets, I will nervously turn to my peers for help unable to answer the questions.

After conducting some research into my “condition” I discovered that my inability to learn new information is caused by my lack of sleep.

According to the National Institute of Health, high school students who do not get enough sleep “have shorter attention spans, decreased cognitive skills and reduced ability to learn new information.”

Although there has been talk about pushing back the start time of Staples High School, nothing has been done.

It is time for school officials to consider the implications that a high school start time of 7:30 a.m. has on the student body.