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Why Do Schools Should Begin Later in Mornings

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Why schools should begin later?

​Red eyes, constant tiredness, and emotional instability; are all hallmark traits of the average teen, they also happen to be classic hints that someone is sleep deprived; this correlates with the fact that the majority of teens don’t get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep they are supposed to.

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​What is the solution to this problem? “Make them sleep earlier of course!?” Many would say “These kids are being rebellious, and must be taught discipline!” The Neurology Times would like to disagree “In fact, research shows that teenage and adolescent sleep patterns are hormonally influenced, and not behavioral quirks, rebellious statements or decided attempts to fit in socially.” If they are to be trusted, this would mean that the solution to our little problem would not be to make them sleep earlier but to make them wake up later, even if it means you have to inconvenience schools with later start times.

​​Though it may seem minor at best, sleep is a major factor in mental ​health; sleep is a recharge period for your body and brain, so if you do not give it ​the recommended time scientists give to do said recharge, there can be many serious ​mental health consequences caused by these actions; according to Neurocore “When we ​sleep, we cycle through different stages of rest – REM and non-REM sleep. Studies have ​shown that REM sleep helps our brains improve learning skills, memory, and overall ​emotional health. When this type of sleep is disrupted, our neurotransmitters and stress ​hormones are also disrupted. This disruption can exacerbate any already-present ​symptoms of mental health conditions and vice versa.” With this information brought to ​light, you can deduce just how large an effect sleep has on your mental health; according ​to Neurocore, patients with depression, ADHD, anxiety problems, and other mental ​health issues, have experienced problems with sleep and insomnia.

​​Moreover, brain function affects a large variety of tasks, which include but are not ​limited to focus and attention span; focus and attention span are the most important skills ​a student needs to perform as they should in academics, and any hindering to these vital ​parts is a hindering to the education of our students as a whole.

​​What is even more concerning is the physical health of these teenagers; “Your ​body needs sleep, just as it needs air and food to function at its best. During sleep, your ​body heals itself and restores its chemical balance.” Says Healthline; “It can also ​dramatically lower your quality of life. A review of 16 studies found that sleeping for less ​than 6 to 8 hours a night increases the risk of early death by about 12 percent.” Healthline ​also includes that symptoms of sleep deprivation can include among many others, a ​higher risk of diabetes, a higher risk of heart disease, and a weakened immunity system. That's why schools should begin later.

​​So, the youth should not have to deal with poor mental and physical health to meet a ​societal standard that could be changed, even if it would be tough; do you not think that ​the idea of later school start times should be given a shot? For the sake of the students in ​our schools, and the generation of the future, contact agencies such as ADEC that operate ​within the UAE, and make suggest a later school start time; this issue must be dealt with ​now because it is not an issue in some faraway land; this issue affects students in our ​homes, in our schools, in our seven emirates; so for the sake of the next generation’s ​future, take action now while you can still make sure that our children and their children ​have the best possible future they could, disease-free, and mentally stable as it should be.       

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