Focus Move: Focusing in the morning

For teens, the ringing of the alarm clock at 6 a.m. is the worst sound ever. Hearing the words “Time for school,” comes in a close second. Starting the school day at 8 a.m. may seem like a good idea for most people. It is a perfect time for parents as they can drop their kids off at school and reach their work just in time to start their morning shift. But, in their kids’ eyes, this is not a good start time.

Recently, our school has began to talk about moving our daily focus period, the time that allows us to finish work, quizzes, and talk to teachers, from the afternoon to the morning. I think this is great! They have discussed about having the kids that do not need that focus period coming into school later and get more rest. Because a lot of kids do not even use focus to get work done, this would be a good time to get that extra rest in order to succeed.

The National Center on Sleep Disorders has published studies explaining that once a child goes through puberty, the body’s circadian rhythm changes. When you are young, you are able to fall asleep at an earlier time, easier. As you reach your teen years, your body has already gone through a circadian rhythm shift, in which the natural hormone melatonin is not released until later at night, leaving us high schoolers unable to fall asleep until 11:00 p.m. or 12 a.m. Most studies show that a minimum of 8 hours of sleep is a good number to stay healthy. Getting up early for school creates the scenario of teens receiving no more than six to seven hours max of sleep a night. Combine this with the stress of constant testing, hard classes, after school clubs and sports and jobs, having this focus period in the morning will help others.

Being able to finish your homework is another reason why focus should be in the morning. With a lot of the students involved with sports and clubs after school, they do not get home until late and cash in for the night. Having focus in the morning would help many athletes with completing their homework. With focus in the afternoon, most kids are already tired from the day and don’t finish much during that time causing them to go to their away games with incomplete homework and never finishing it for the next day. Having focus in the morning would help these students finish that homework that could not be finished the night before, the morning before it is due.

There are many ways to argue why focus should be in the morning. The best option is to have it in the morning. I look forward to seeing what changes our school makes to the focus period next year.