Students Sleeping in School: Is It Really a Problem?


Sofia Boughton

Students in the United States do not get much sleep. The consequences of sleep deprivation are the increase of anxiety and depression among teens

Sofia Boughton and Imani Miller

The average student should be sleeping at least seven hours, but the many pressures of school and outside commitments seem to say otherwise. For a number of students, trying to find a way to manage their sleep schedule and schoolwork is a struggle, but students who are tired seem to not realize how little they sleep.

Academics and work shifts can really affect a person’s sleep schedule. Most people prioritize their work and academics, due to wanting to keep their grades up or trying to make money to provide for their family or just to earn some spare cash. It begs the question: What is more important? Grades or getting a healthy amount of sleep?

Occasionally, students take many challenging courses that could possibly be keeping them up at night; for example, AP courses and honors classes definitely affect how many hours of sleep a student will get, particularly because many of those classes get loads of homework. Usually, honors courses will get more assignments than regular courses, and those students who do fit into the qualities of being in those courses will feel affected, losing at least 20 minutes of sleep compared to those who take regular courses according to Qiushuang Jin’s research about sleep of high school students in AP courses.

Imani Miller

While 7-9 hours of sleep is usually the healthiest time range, many students at Pattonville High School seem to be unaware at how many hours of sleep they are actually getting is not the healthy amount of time.

Junior Miriam Gaona said that she sleeps “about 6 hours, I usually finish my homework very late, so I work on my homework late at night.” She is one hour under the average sleep time a student should sleep, which can be unhealthy, even if it is just one hour under.

Sophomore Lexi Wilson said she sleeps “5-6 hours, because that’s the time that works best for me.”
Even if 5-6 hours works for a person, not getting enough sleep not only leads to sleep deprivation, but long term effects,  as well.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, some of the long term effects of not getting the correct hours of sleep can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attacks, and depression. Even if the symptoms do not appear at younger ages, it can affect people at older ages.

Sleep can affect the way students act, perform, and interact in school. Freshman football player Jaden Sharp said, “I fall asleep frequently in my first hour due to losing sleep the last night.” Sleeping in the classroom is usually not taken lightly, with some teachers banging on desks or yelling at students to wake up.

When asked about if sleep affects performance the next day, sophomore Jack Pfister said, “While not really for me, but I think it could definitely affect someone else, especially if they are not sleeping for long.”

How can this problem be solved? All of the students interviewed thought that making school start a bit later would help them sleep better.

“I wish school would start later, 7:23 is way too early, even colleges do not start that early,” Wilson said. School starting at 7:23 is very early, with regular jobs usually starting at 8 am, which is about 37 minutes earlier, which can be a lot of time to some.

“I wish school started later, like at 7:40, because I could be sleeping more in bed, and be more prepped for school the next day,” Pfister said.

While there is a very slim chance that the school’s early morning schedule will ever be changed, there is a sliver of hope in getting work done while not missing as much sleep time. While it is quite hard to change an entire school system early schedule, maybe trying to use some empty time spots when there is time to spare like lunch and homeroom, and if there’s still no possible way, getting things done in class is always a good alternative.

In conclusion, sleep can be a struggle for students who have a huge workload, job or not. To help solve this issue, trying to do work when any free time is given, be it during school or before school is a way to defy the issue that is the early school time of 7:23 A.M.