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The Day Dreamers

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The Day Dreamers Have you ever wondered why so many students at City High are sluggish and lethargic? Are they just lazy and unmotivated? No, most of them probably suffer from lack of sleep, caused by biological clocks that are set to a different schedule than their classes. Teenagers have a physiological need to stay up later and sleep longer than pre-adolescents, yet the daily schedule of the school runs oblivious to this. At City High students usually have to get up a little before 6:30, yet it is only natural for teenagers to get up later in the mornings. According to Mark Mahowald, MD, director of the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center, “(Adolescents’) biological clocks program them to go to sleep late—too late to get an adequate amount of sleep before the next school day begins” (qtd. In Lamberg). Because he believes that most high schools open too early, he is leading a campaign to move the start of high school to 9 a.m. in Minneapolis. Puberty causes teenagers to go to sleep an hour later than when they were younger, according to Dr. Mary Caraskadon, director of chronobiology and sleep research at Bradlet Hospital in Rhode Island (Lamberg). In contrast to this law of nature, U-32 students have to go to school about an hour earlier than elementary school students in the same school district. Because of her research, Dr. Caraskadon agrees with Dr. Mahowald’s opinions: “The practice of ringing the opening bell earlier in high school than
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