Editorial: ­ Should Wayne High Schools Start Later?

Imagine a life where you are not required to wake up at 5:30-­6:30 to begin your day. Where the sun will be smiling instead of frowning. And, where you don’t have to hassle with your phone to stop the dreadful snoozing tone. Doesn’t this sound nice? Yes, but it isn’t that simple. Many high school students are experiencing sleep deprivation, or extreme tiredness due to lack of sleep.

Upperclassmen are more prone to being sleep deprived due to laborious classes, sports, and work. What many students don’t know is that this severely hinders their health. An average human being should be getting 7-­9 hours of sleep for their health, their safety, and their emotions.

Acquiring the targeted amount of sleep is the root to having an excellent health. That is why a lack of sleep can affect one’s health in numerous ways, such as the risk of a heart attack, angina, and stroke will increase. Another result of sleep deprivation is low immune function causing a person to have a higher risk of illnesses. One study has shown that when researchers kept people awake for 88 hours, their blood pressure went up. But researchers who were allowed to sleep for 4 hours a night had an increased heart rate when compared to those getting 8 hours. They concluded that concentrations of the C­reactive protein, a marker of heart disease risk, increased in those fully and partially deprived of sleep (PubMed.gov). If you care about your health, you should care even more about your sleep.

Safety isn’t always making sure your shoe is tied. It is also being aware of what is going on around you. When you fail to get proper amounts of sleep, your cognitive ability is hindered. Scientists measuring sleep have concluded that sleep deprivation leads to decreased alertness, and concentration. In other words, it’s more difficult to focus. This hampers your ability to perform tasks that require logical reasoning to prompt thought. After several sleepless nights, the mental effects become more serious. Your brain will fog, making it difficult to concentrate and make decisions. You’ll start to feel down, and may fall asleep during the day. Pilots, truck drivers, and medical residents are required to stay awake for long periods of time. As a result, these workers “show an increased risk of crashes or near misses due to sleep deprivation” (Business Insider). Your risk of injury and accidents at home, work, and on the road also increases.

Getting the targeted amount of sleep will allow you to be alert.Walking on the sunshine isn’t as easy as it sounds when you miss your beauty sleep. Instead, you feel like a ray of gloom. Believe it or not, sleep deprivation is what makes some people feel subdued and confused. A study led by psychologist Daniel Kahneman, “a group of 909 working women kept detailed logs of their moods and day-­to-­day activities. While differences in income up to $60,000 had little effect on happiness, a poor night’s sleep was one of two factors that could ruin the following day’s mood” (Business Insider). Researchers suggest that the risk of developing depression is highest amidst people with insomnia. Don’t mess with your sleep patterns, or else sleep will mess with your rays of sunshine.

An average human being should be getting 7-­9 hours of sleep for their health, their safety, and their emotions. These aspects can potentially be affected enough sleep isn’t considered. So complete your everyday night routine, grab a book, and say hello to your new and improved sleep.