For high school students in Southern California, school often starts between 7-8 A.M. and ends between 3-5 P.M., depending on their given schedule. To prevent sleep deprivation, students should sleep for nine hours, as recommended by doctors around the world.
Sleep is an important component to a student, as it helps fuel his or her mind and body. If a student sleeps the recommended hours provided, it is less likely that a student will struggle in school or suffer from a serious medical condition. Many adults tend to blame students for using their electronic devices or accuse them of being irresponsible and failing to manage their time wisely. This may be a case for some, but the most common reason they do not get enough sleep is due to extracurricular activities and homework given by teachers.
290 confirmed high school students from Irvine, Buena Park, and LA have taken an Instagram survey posted by me, regarding their daily routine and how it has impacted their lifestyle. When asked if a student participates in a sport, 87% voted yes and 13% said no. Sports usually take place after school and end between 4-6 P.M., depending on the school. If students are in a sport for a particular season, there will most likely be games on both weekdays and weekends. When a student returns from a game or practice, it is likely that they will shower and eat. Because of these things, it would be no surprise if the student ended up doing homework late into the night.
On top of sports, students were asked if they do any other extracurricular activities outside of school. 93% voted yes and 7% voted no. The average amount of hours spent in a week to participate in activities like sports, volunteer, or tutor was a total of 10-15 hours. Considering those two factors, sports and extracurricular activities, students are struggling to balance their lifestyle and manage their night routine. Another question regards how long it takes a student to complete his or her daily homework. 86% voted that it takes about 3-6 hours, while 14% said that it takes about 1-3 hours. Adding those hours to the other two factors would estimate that the student would not sleep until after midnight.
Students were asked when they finish their homework and daily routines of the day. The average time given was between 1-4 A.M., depending on the amount of homework that was given. Since the student had no time to take a break and relax, they normally use their devices afterwards, at around 2 A.M., going to bed around 3 A.M. Therefore, when students wake up at 6:30 A.M. to get ready for school, they are exhausted and are not actively aware during school hours.
When asked if students do better on late-start days, all 290 students voted that they do and have seemed to get better test scores. Unlike elementary school, where a student normally has one teacher that can balance the amount of homework they have, high school students have 6-8 teachers who give what they feel necessary for their class.
Overall, studying the replies of the survey and seeing the studies regarding this topic, school hours should start later in order to allow students to be able to sleep their recommended 9 hours and produce their required hormones.
Chloe S. Mun, Grade 9
Northwood High School