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Every morning before school George would have to wake up at 5 to get ready for that day. One time he woke up as usual and got to school like normal, tired, dazed, and somewhat angry. George got to his 1st hour class which was 3d animation. During that class, he fell asleep for 30 minutes, because of his lack of sleep that night and every night before that. He missed everything that the teacher had just said and is still behind today. Schools in America should start at a later time because lack of sleep can lead to worse test scores, bad attitude, and an unhealthy lifestyle.Students will perform better in school if it starts later.  We’ve all had it happen, we stayed up later than we should have the night before school. According to: Teens May Do Better When School Starts Later: the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) says that schools should start their days no earlier than 8:30. The AASM states that waking up before 8:30 can cause affect a student’s health, safety, and academic performance. The AASM recommends that teens should get 8-10 hours of sleep every night before school. Both of these statements from the AASM show that this a very big problem because, this is an organization that takes action in/supports sleep medicine friendly legislators in congressional elections. During puberty the brain releases a “sleep-inducing hormone” called melatonin at random intervals throughout a day. Melatonin is exactly what is sounds like, a chemical in your body that makes you tired. Puberty is at a different time for everyone, however it is most often for puberty to happen during high school or middle school, we all learned this 2 years ago.  The AASM has had over 10,00 health experts and scientists have agreed the this is a problem for students in America. “if middle- and high-school students are allowed to wake up later in the morning, they’ll be more focused during the day, more alert behind the wheel and less likely to be late to (or absent from) school.” They have published this statement in the  Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) both agree with this statement. They say that if middle/high school students can wake up at a later time, they will have better focus throughout the day, not only in school but when they are driving to/from it. Many schools across America start school before 8 a.m, these schools have noticed their students falling asleep more in class and also failing these classes as a result. This could lead to heavy consequences because “chronic sleep loss” has been connected to many high school students having worse school performance. Loss of sleep as also been known to lead to a bad attitude. Lack of sleep not only leads to a bad school performance, but it also affects their attitude.Attitude will improve. It happens almost every morning, we wake up, and we don’t want to do anything, we only have the desire to go right back to sleep, and forget about the day ahead. Well this is the case for most students in high school, they wake up very early in the morning, and barely make it to school, they’re crabby all the rest of the day because of this. A study by Harvard University shows that sleep and mood are very closely connected. A bad night’s rest causes you to be more irritable and stress. “Chronic insomnia” increases the risk of gaining a mood disorder like anxiety or depression. Lack of sleep and developments of depression/anxiety has the possibility of being treated with medicine, but why should anyone have to pay for medication when they could easily sleep in more if their schools let them. Even missing a little bit of your sleep can eventually lead to a very significant effect on mood. The University of Pennsylvania has done an experiment to study the relationship between mood and lack of sleep. The researchers have found that patients with 4.5 hours of sleep every night for a week were reported to have felt more anger, stress, sadness and exhaustion. The same patients slept normally for one week and said there was a drastic difference, they felt a great improvement in mood. Funnily enough, lack of sleep, leads to even less sleep, astounding! (not really). Less sleep leads to leads to a bad mental state, which leads to anxiety, and anger which in turn, makes it harder to fall asleep. Stress affects the body, stress makes the body “aroused, awake, and alert” More often than not, students in high school and above are under a lot of stress most of the time (Remember, this study is from Harvard students, some of the smartest kids in the country, they should know sleeplessness better than anyone else) and this causes exaggerated responses to stress, this then leads to major sleep problems. “There’s a big relationship between psychiatric and psychological problems and sleep. So people who are depressed or have anxiety often have trouble with sleep as part of those disorders,” says Dr. Lawrence Epstein, Medical Director of Sleep Health Centers and an instructor at Harvard Medical School. Not only does lack of sleep affect a student’s attitude, but it also leads to an unhealthy lifestyle.Lifestyle/health will improve. Not only have we all felt sluggish in the morning after we wake up from a short nights rest, we’ve felt even a little bit sick. This is a sign of major sleep deprivation. In Sleep and Health by Harvard students/researchers, lack of sleep can lead to a risk of serious health problems such as: Obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. In some very  rare cases, enough lack of sleep has been shown to shorten one’s lifespan. People mostly disregard the importance of a good night of sleep and don’t care about the consequences. Some Harvard students ran a study to see what health risks losing 2-3 hours of sleep a night could potentially cause: Obesity: People who have gotten less than 6 hours of sleep on an average have been shown to gain extra body fat, however, people who get an average sleep time of 8 or more hours were shown to have the least excess body fat. Another study showed that babies who didn’t get enough sleep became obese or overweight later on in their life. Diabetes: People who get less than 5 hours of sleep on an average have been recorded to develop type 2 diabetes much easier. However, another study has shown that it is possible to recover from this, a controlled, steady sleeping schedule can control your blood sugar, and reduce the effects of type 2 diabetes. Cardiovascular disease and hypertension: A study shows that even something as large as 7 hours of sleep can greatly increase one’s risk of Coronary Artery Calcification, this is basically setting you up for a myocardial infarction (heart attack) which can eventually lead to death. This is really only possible if you are older, and out of college, but it is still a possibility. This study is not finished yet, but there is increasing evidence to prove there is a connection between lack of sleep, and and increased risk of: “cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease, and irregular heartbeat.” Immune function: Less sleep affects the immune system heavily, sleep deprivation increases “inflammatory mediators”. This eventually leads to other infections which will eventually lead to an interrupted sleep schedule. Scientists are still researching this condition, not much else is known except for that fact that sleep deprivation slowly breaks down the immune system so the body can’t fight off infections as well as they should. Common cold: People who have gotten less than 7 hours of sleep on an average causes a three times greater risk to the cold than people who got 8 or more hours of sleep on an average.  Not getting enough sleep every night causes an unhealthy lifestyle, in the same way in leads to someone missing class because they didn’t get a good amount of sleep.Now it is clear to see how less sleep can lead to a bad temper, worse grades, and an unhealthy lifestyle and why school need to start at a later time. One thing that could make an impact on the schools across America is if students could recommend to their school board this idea and these points that have just been proven. Also, you now see why George had such a hard time during that 3d animation class! “Sleep and Health.” Sleep and Health. Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, n.d. Web. 21 Dec. 2017.”Sleep and Health.” Sleep and Health | Need Sleep. Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, 16 Jan. 2008. Web. 21 Dec. 2017.Edwards, Scott. “Chemical Mediators Of Inflammation – Pharmacology.” Merck Veterinary Manual. Scott H. Edwards, BSc, BVMS, PhD, MANZCVSc, ‘Senior Lecturer, Veterinary Pharmacology, Charles Sturt University, n.d. Web. 21 Dec. 2017.”Teens May Do Better When School Starts Later.” Time. Time, 4 Sept. 2017. Web. 21 Dec. 2017.


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