A recent editorial reflected on studies noting how sleep deprivation leads to anxiety and depression (“Our View: Wake-up call needed for new high school start,” Aug. 26). That, of course, is not false or inaccurate.
Yet this is where social science (a behavioral science) would talk about factors leading to sleep deprivation based on current behaviors, experiences, interactions, etc. It would also consider life and behavioral modifications to accommodate having to get up and be at school on time to avoid truancy, such as going to bed earlier. Some consider that a responsibility that becomes a lifelong trait, or lack thereof.
Here is where further studies would also reflect on the mind and body actually having a natural sleep-wake cycle known as the “circadian rhythm.”
This goes back to archaic times of hunting and gathering. When the sun is up, the mind and body want to be up to live life, and meet requirements to live. When the sun goes down, the mind and body (naturally) want to go down with the sun. Don’t forget that the sun is a natural source of Vitamin D, which is actually known to help the brain in the behavioral domain.
And if school started later in the day, it would then end later, thus inevitably putting a damper on simple things for these developing minds, such as being able to sit down for dinner with their family. Extracurricular activities such as sports, which are big attractions for many students in educational institutions, would also be affected.
Sleep is important, so accommodations should be made accordingly; here is where prioritizing virtues and lifestyles becomes imperative.