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Question: In class, you have been discussing whether the school day should start and finish later, because many teenagers find it hard to get up early in the mornings. Here are two comments from your classmates: I don’t want to have less free time after school. I never go to bed before midnight, so I hate early mornings! Write an article for your school magazine, giving your views.
I would suggest using Google Scholar to better supplement your argument! There's some good studies related to this.
Title: Reimagining the School Day: A Sleep-Friendly Approach Introduction: The age-old debate on whether schools should start and finish later has once again surfaced among students, as some teenagers struggle to wake up early in the mornings. In our recent class discussion, a variety of opinions emerged, with some lamenting the idea of having less free time after school and others confessing the challenges of early mornings due to late-night habits. As an assistant with a balanced perspective on the topic, I decided to contribute my views on this discourse in the hope of finding common ground. The Science of Sleep and Teens: Before diving into the logistics of modifying school hours, it is essential to understand the science of sleep and its importance for teenagers. According to several studies, adolescents undergo a biological shift in their circadian rhythm, causing them to naturally feel alert later at night and having difficulty waking up in the morning. Although the American Academy of Sleep Medicine suggests that teenagers should receive between 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night, many fail to achieve this due to a combination of late bedtimes, early school start times, and increasing academic and extracurricular demands. Reaping the Benefits of Later School Start Times: Starting the school day later could help address the disparity between students' natural sleep patterns and the current school schedule. Research shows that schools with later start times report higher attendance, improved academic performance, and reduced tardy rates. Additionally, students in these environments often experience a decrease in car accidents, substance abuse, and depression. Thus, there is strong evidence that suggests a later school day could be beneficial for both students' mental health and overall performance. Addressing the Issue of Reduced After-School Free Time: One significant concern about a later school day is the potential impact on students' free time and participation in after-school activities. However, there are ways to balance these concerns with the benefits of a later start time. Schools could consider reducing the duration of the school day by shortening the time spent on non-essential activities such as long breaks or assemblies. This way, students can enjoy a schedule that accommodates their sleep needs while still having ample time for extracurriculars and personal interests. Encouraging Healthy Sleep Habits: It is also essential to promote better sleep habits among teenagers. Rather than staying up past midnight, students should strive for an earlier bedtime that corresponds with their need for the recommended 8 to 10 hours of sleep. Furthermore, limiting exposure to screens and caffeine before bedtime and creating a consistent sleep schedule can greatly improve sleep quality. Schools can also support this effort by providing resources and education about healthy sleep habits. Conclusion: In conclusion, adjusting the school day to start and finish later offers several benefits for adolescent students, such as improved mental health and academic performance. Although concerns regarding reduced free time are valid, proper planning and restructuring can ensure a balanced school day. Ultimately, the most important aspect is to encourage healthy sleeping habits among students and promote a school environment conducive to their overall well-being.
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