Are your teens getting enough sleep?

By: Alicia Gentile Email
By: Alicia Gentile Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- With early high school start times, many teens juggling jobs and after school activities may not be getting enough sleep before they start their school day.

According to the Centers for Disease Control adolescents, 10 to 17 years old need 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 hours of sleep every night.

Many high school students have jobs, participate in extracurricular activities and sports, making it difficult for teens to get sufficient sleep and roll out of bed in the morning to go to school.

Chelsea Hammond is a senior at Central High School and had a hard time working a part-time job during the school year.

“It was really rough and I wasn’t getting a whole lot of sleep. I didn't have a late release and I'd get in the habit of sleeping in and missing class and it just was really bad," said Hammond.

Grand Junction High School principal, Jon Bilbo, sees students come to school overtired.

“Lethargic behavior in the classroom, ya know some take naps and some aren't particularly healthy- over the long run because they're not getting enough sleep," said Bilbo.

After school activities can fill a student's schedule as well. Tristan Brown is a sophomore at Central and her school day doesn't end at the sound of the bell.

“Marching band after and then any other activities that may fall with that, like back to school night I had to work a booth for marching band and then Mondays I have to work bingo in order to raise money and then that goes until 9-9:30 p.m." said Brown.

Many high schools start before 8:00 a.m., but a non-profit, called "Start School Later" is advocating high schools should start later so students can sleep in.

However, there are many extracurricular activities that would be affected.

“If you said okay we're going to start school at 9 o'clock and go till 5 o'clock, well then you're extending the school day, pushing the co-curricular programs back even later; which would really adversely affect sports and other outdoor type activities like band," said Bilbo.

The cycle of being tired in school may just be a part of the busy schedule of students and the choices they make when it comes to getting the CDC's recommended hours of sleep. Principal Bilbo says he and his faculty try their best to work with students’ variant schedules.

“From a sleep perspective, we try and focus on what we have control over, which is the way we help kids schedules and try and help them meet their needs," said Bilbo.


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