The epidemic of sleep deprivation among teenagers is the result of the established social order, which was formed in the mid twentieth century and have remained largely unchanged. Morning ritual of working people from the middle class looks like this: Wake up, Wake up the kids, gather them, feed Breakfast, take to school or send them to a bus and then have to prepare for the beginning of the working day.
School infrastructure is subject to the needs of adults, but lose sight of the peculiarities of development of children.
The international organization for the protection of health is recommended to start classes for middle and high school not earlier than 8:30. Moreover, in almost all countries school starts at the same time for all ages, and not always the time of the first call meet the recommended norm.
That’s what time begins study at schools in different countries:
In Moscow and St. Petersburg, the lessons begin at 08:00 and 08:30 and even 9:00. In other cities the variation is wider — from 07:00 to 09:30.
In Japan, the lessons begin no later than 08:30 in China — from 07:00 to 08:00 Germany 08:00 to 9:00.
Public schools of great Britain and British Commonwealth countries (Australia, Canada and New Zealand) begin their work at 9:00.
Private schools govern the beginning of the school day at their discretion.
In the US, 40% high schools (high schools) start working before 08:00, 10% — before 07:00 and only 15% after 08:30.
These figures are provided as arguments for the movement to protect biological needs of pupils Start School Later, or “Start lessons later”. Among the members of this movement meet not only students and parents but also scientists, public figures and civil servants. Their challenge is to convince the public that a healthy start of the school day will help students middle and high school to better and faster develop their skills and abilities.
Skeptics might argue: “If you give children the opportunity to get up an hour later, they will be late to sleep”. The sleep researchers, this assumption is rejected. Teenagers go to bed at the same time as usual, just sleeping longer. They often appear in the classroom. The experiment showed a decrease in the number of truancy first lessons 25% when you shift the beginning of the school day forward by one hour. Unsurprisingly, the children began to achieve higher results in school, their emotional and physical condition has improved, and the climate in the family became more pleasant, which pleased their parents.
In the same area where the experiment was conducted, even the percentage of accidents decreased by 70%.
With so many benefits, the public is not yet ready to meet the natural characteristics of adolescent development. Most of them believe that the withdrawal of teenagers from the comfort zone will prepare you for real life. The sleep researchers, however, argue that we need to give children the opportunity to sleep as much as their body requires at this age. We don’t deprive kids of up to three years from a NAP, to prepare them for kindergarten.
Worldwide there are funds to study the problems of sleep, the most famous of them — the American National Sleep Foundation. He fully supports the initiative to change the start time of classes for teenagers, and sponsoring projects that seek to prove of great public benefit of this reform. However, this would require to change the whole infrastructure: revise the schedule of public transport, improvements in roads, to handle childcare before and after school, adjust to a new schedule for the catering sector, sports and cultural institutions.
Established in many years ago the system it is difficult to make, so, despite the efforts of enthusiasts, the question of a later start of the school day and remains open.