3 Town Landing RD
Falmouth, ME 04105
January 6th, 2014 Geoff Bruno
51 Woodville RD
Falmouth, ME 04105 Dear Superintendent Geoff Bruno,
My name is Mary Hyland and I am a sophomore at Falmouth High School. Currently, one of my classes in a civics and government class with Mrs.Wrobel. In this class we have been assigned to write a letter to a figure of authority and address an issue we feel passionately about. For me personally, I would like to raise awareness of the harmful effects of the early start time in our high school. I believe resolving this issue will greatly improve our school overall.
Today, adolescents, particularly high school students, are found to face a widespread chronic health issue of sleep deprivation. In our high school, this is especially true. Students are noticed to doze off in class and constantly complain of feeling tired during the day. For optimal performance, health and brain development, teens need on average 9¼ hours of sleep per night, while on average receive only 7 short hours per school night. Teens are frequently involved in hectic schedules of studying, after school activities, sports, jobs, and family obligations. When left with little time, teens often abbreviate their sleep habits. It is also clear that driving while drowsy is a serious traffic safety problem, especially among young drivers. On top of this all, teens have smartphones, which most find to be distractions every night before bed. Although this factor can not be controlled, it poses as yet another cause for sleep deprivation. Early school start times compete with biological changes that put most teens on a later sleepwake clock. Consequently, when students wake up for school the adolescent’s body says it is still the middle of the night and feels less alert, which is not good for school performance.