But it wasn't until my first kid that I finally understood that school doesn't start this early because it's good for the learning experience.
It starts this early so parents can get their kids to school and start working afterwards, without getting fired.
My kids' elementary school actually does this. They tell parents "if your child has a doctor's appointment or needs to be out for a portion of the day, schedule it at the beginning or end of the day to make sure they don't miss anything important."
One interesting follow-up study could be to compare night-owls/morning-larks in rotating schedule schools vs schools with fixed schedules. We could then see do night-owls do significantly worse in the classes they only take in the morning, vs night-owls who take classes rotating throughout diff periods of the day?
Physical Education, Art, Spanish, Music, History, Science, etc are scheduled around those accordingly.
The main reasoning is simply that math and English are the two subjects that build upon each other the most from grade level to grade level and because of that, they are considered the "core".
If you sleep through algebra, you can't do calculus, period.
Despite my best efforts in high school
that's why anyone can just sit in a history or physics graduate level course and be fine because they don't build on each other.
Organic chemistry would never depend on bio or chem 1.
however, if you sleep through algebra 1, its not used at all in geometry so its fine. And neither are used in discrete math.
such a bubble..
what if i told you most students don't learn anything past algebra anyway?
Different fields differ in how much they are built on mental models and how much they’re just a grab bag of connected facts you have to know and learn. Biology has more disconnected you just need to know it stuff than Chemistry.
I agree with you 100% that the average person doesn't need math throughout their lives. We need to stress teaching statistics though in schooling (high school especialy) because that is something that manipulates people constantly .
Our optimal sleeping time is based on the rotation of earth around the sun. We have removed our brain's natural sleep trigger (lack of light) so our sleep habits have been getting out of whack for the last couple of hundred years.
Why would other family members had been asleep? Wouldn't this natural sleep cycle have applied to everyone?
For some reason it's not difficult for me to sleep past sunrise, but very hard to go to bed before sunset or wake before sunrise. And some people are the opposite.
Since the whole getting kids to school early so that someone can watch them while the parents work only really only applies to younger students, this isn't a problem.
I'd guess that a significant fraction of teenagers would have difficulty waking up and getting to school on time if they didn't have a parent around to wake them up, feed them breakfast, push them out the door, etc. Not all teens are self-motivated and independent enough to do this on their own every single day.
Could you elaborate on this? What is the reason? Saying it's "more economically efficient" than grouping class types is something many of my teachers would disagree with, as they have lives they would love to get to outside of school (e.g. if a PE teacher gets out early in the morning, they can go to their second job or see their own kids) and complain about having to stay at school because there isn't enough time between similar classes that are spread across different times of day.
It would also require a much larger gym and much more equipment. Same for all other subjects: many more musical instruments for music class, etc.
Many school districts around the country are far too broken to worry about start times. The republicans have done a very good job of starving education for money over the last 20 years, and rampant corruption within the teachers unions and school/district administrations doesn’t help the situation.
I got to go to a fancy school where there were like 12 kids in the class. It was amazing, I learned so much during my time there. Conversely, I went to some pretty shoddy city schools as well and the teacher could barely get the students to just be quiet.
I will say in yet another school (I moved A LOT) for my final semester of high school I went to an alternative school where you did all your coursework on the computers. You could work as fast or as slow as you wanted. It didn't take very many teachers to run that at all. The computer took care of most of it, including hints and letting you rewatch how to solve the problem. I loved this-- school was always kind of boring and I was always one of the first to finish and just end up reading a book...but I was able to finish up my whole class extremely quickly (I think a month or so, it's been a few years).
The thing that baffles me about it, is that if you're going to do physical activity like that, a shower after should be mandatory unless you are going home. Otherwise it's pretty gross. The result will be people not trying hard in gym, or people being unsanitary.
I guess this is all because we're ashamed of our bodies or afraid of sexual perverts? What the hell happened to us that we are this way?
I would have been afraid to shower in high school, the way it was. I have since showered in front of many strangers in the military and nothing bad has ever happened to me as a result. If you do have something odd happen, then that should be dealt with. But come on man, high school is not a prison. You are pretty safe to take a shower there.
tl;dr our society would rather be dirty and gross than see the naked bodies of our peers or be seen.
Don't know how common that is.
As I recall it was because all the other teachers didn't want a bunch of sweaty smelly kids in their classes.
Are you familiar with the phrase: "There are two types of jobs, those you shower before, and some you shower afterwards."
You shower after manual labor jobs. That's just a matter of practicality.
I made a comment that getting ready twice in short order is a pain, which is why people wouldn't want to have PE first thing.
I don't see what any of this has to do with the difference in showering schedules between white collar and blue collar labor.
My dad worked in a factory and showered after he got home from work. That was the time of day that made sense because his work was hot and sweaty and dirty.
I suppose the idea could have been that you could have just not showered at all and showered once you were done with PE, but still unsure where this detour is headed.
My thesis that ties this story together, and showering in PE class, is that some people see boats, guns, and sailors moving through the water, but are somehow incapable of acknowledging that it constitues a navy.
The result in this article, people do better when their awake, can be thought of as a frequency plot. This study effectively performed fourier analysis. They studied a comprehensive data set over a long enough time to deduce the cohesion that is evident when controlling for time.
Here's a thought experiment: can you empathize with a transistor? Imagine your a transistor, and I'm a transistor, and we can somehow still communicate. Im a pnp, and you're an npn:
npn: Its obvious that we're just transistors. You keep spouting nonsense about these logic gates, and how their the future. But please, show me the logic gate. I don't see it. You can't even tell me what it looks like.
pnp: look, when you put enough transistors together, you get an AND gate. In another configuration, you can get an OR gate.
npn: Please stop posting your controversial opinions here. This guy. I bet you're gonna tell me about magical flip flops and arithmetic logic units. Thats because you get all your news from science based sources. You should really try and get your information from a more diverse set.
Funny enough, I did lose the weight, and am in much better shape now, through activities that are the antithesis of HS gym (turns out riding a bike and swimming for my own pleasure beat the torture of team sports any day)
But ask yourself this. Think back in time to those dreadful experiences and remember the people who didn't _appear_ to dread the experience.
Those people dreaded walking naked amongst their 14 year old peers as well, they just did a better job at convincing you that they dreaded it less than you.
You could even say that those were the victors who wrote your history.
"thats ridiculous, we quickly adapted over a short amount of time".
So, if I hear you correctly, what your saying is that as your understanding over time, lets call this du/dt, has a positive rate of change?
You're probably right though, the biggest trick Copernicus ever pulled was convincing everyone of heliocentricity by employing mathematics. We've been under the illusion ever since.
People have different perspectives on these sorts of things.
It doesn't mean that 4 year old me was stupid because I thought they hurt so bad, it just means that I've experienced things that hurt much worse.
I went to large schools for both MS and HS, and all of our PE teachers only taught PE throughout the day, as it was offered all seven class periods as there were simply too many students to only offer the class two to three periods.
In HS, freshman tended to have the largest class sizes as they only had two class periods to choose from, and were split between male and female. They'd rotate through all sports during the school year. All other years got to choose their class period and were able to select the sport(s) they wanted, and would rotate through different teachers quarterly, within that same class period, based on those selections.
Coaches that only taught electives usually rotated in teaching Health/Sex Ed and Driver's Ed.
I went to a small district where they shared roles. My wife went to a huge school where the PE teachers taught only PE and were paid coached as well.
In some districts, you need certification in a subject... a gym teacher can’t teach math.
I wonder how that dynamic will interact with the decreasing need for adults in the workforce.
In addition to that, I think it's clear that there's two curriculums at school: a spoken one and an unspoken one. The spoken curriculum is math, science, reading, etc. The unspoken curriculum is mass social indoctrination around conformity, complacency, and willingness to do boring work with minimal reward for long periods of time. Essentially, to psychologically prepare children for the realities of work life.
This is basically what I'm saying; educational requirements are an easy way to track the workforce. At the end of the wars, the labor market contracted hugely (as those soldiering jobs went away), so our society cut the least valuable workers out of the workforce. That it had humanitarian justifications, in that those workers also had the least personal agency and influence over their working conditions, is almost coincidental.
Compulsory education in the US started in 1852 in Massachusetts and ended in 1918 in Mississippi:
The first modern compulsory education was enacted in Prussia in 1763.
One boy's mass social indoctrination is another boy's ultimate fuck party.
Our society decided humans become more valuable when they are given the opportunity of a childhood filled with education instead of manual labor.
US student loan debt is somewhere around $1.4 trillion. For comparison, mortgage debt is somewhere around $8.9 trillion. That's a pretty damn big market. 
If that education was free, I'd wholly agree with you that it's simply our society deciding this is for the betterment of all. But when you combine these two sources of debt (student loans so we can get jobs that afford us home mortgages) then we're looking at a new, weird, first-world form of debt bondage. 
Again, I realize that's a very pessimistic point of view. Will be interesting to see how the history books view it in years to come.
this is on my eventually 2 read list
Personally, if my 22 year old self travelled in time three years backwards to meet 17 year old me, and then travelled 20 years forward to present day to me current me, I have no doubt 18 year old me would the odd man out in this triplet.
In the same way that there isn't much practical (i.e. economic) interest in tailoring schools and college classes to people with different daily cycles, there isn't much interest in teaching people about common problems ahead of time, or running some kind of continuous life challenges training that could potentially do a lot to improve life quality.
In my 50s, one of the common problems my friends have is dealing with parents who are either dying, recently dead, or have a terminal illness like Alzheimer's.
Of course that happens to younger people too, but there are actuarial peaks where it becomes massively more likely that you'll be dealing with a certain set of challenges in a certain decade of life.
There's shockingly little information around about some of these challenges. So it's incorrect to assume that the learning ends after school or college.
You won't learn anything about dealing with these challenges there. You won't even be warned they exist.
If you look at post-industrialization patterns, the age at which humans become productive has been increasing as the productivity of humans has increased. On a subsistence farm, a 6-year old can be doing useful work to increase the productivity of the farm. In a coal mine or factory, an 8-year-old can do productive work. 16-year olds can do construction, food industry, but for jobs with decision-making responsibilities (as more and more jobs are today), we don't trust anyone under 22.
Does it make his nebulous conspiracy theory more or less believable that you somehow think the age at which we stop warehousing kids actually has nothing at all to do with physical maturation?
You specifically selected parts of the body that finish maturing earlier than my statement, because it was the most controversial thing that popped into your head. It didn't pop in to your growth plates, it didn't pop into your elbow. It didn't pop into your left middle toe. It popped into your head.
You should allow these very statements to marinate in that same head, and see if you can come to the correct conclusion as to which part of your body I was referring to in my original comment.
And maternity/paternity leave has little to do with school age kids.
France has the “genius” idea to have school only 4 days per week in most places. So Wednesdays off. Parents have to figure out what to do with their kids — they can’t exactly take off every Wednesday. And why does this 4 day week persist? Not because of ideal learning outcomes but because of teacher unions.
Europe isn’t better at everything and America isn’t worse at everything as people often like to suggest. And all of those great “benefits” people like to point out — they aren’t free. Salaries are dramatically lower in Europe and taxes higher — so even when all of these benefits are tallied, Americans still have more disposable income along with lower unemployment and a far more robust economy.
For sure there are great things about Europe, but don’t minimize America because it’s fashionable. Look at actual numbers.
I wonder what you mean by "Americans", I really don't see how a minimum wage American part time worker has "more disposable income" than someone in Europe with any measure of health insurance?
Minimizing America may be fashionable, but the awful situation of a lot of working people in America is not at all made up, and, no, the money doesn't compensate it. It just compensates it (maybe) for software engineers.
And also, it doesn't fairly compare because this is legally forced, instead of letting the market determine such needs. The comment you're replying to is suggesting that naturally, companies which start earlier and aren't as accompanying of flexible working for parents, will do better in the market. Your comment doesn't debunk this theory.
Perhaps, ask yourself why you come down on the side of moneyed interests in every point you make.
When I see this kind of dogmatic badgering, Its almost like my brain is superimposing a Fast Fourier Transform frequency plot on that person, and all of the energy is found to be in a single bin.
Your single bin is money. As this pure tone, it is literally your equation.
I don't have to tell you that this makes you give whores a bad name.
This isn't an agreement or disagreement with your underlying views; it's that you can't go offside when expressing them. Same applies to the other team.
Edit: it turns out you've been doing this a lot. We ban accounts that do that, so please don't do it any more.
(I was actually shocked that Americans don't always get paid holiday.)
Note that we also have 6 months paid maternity leave, and 1 weeks paid paternity leave, with both of those extendable on a lower pay rate.
New legislation from the 2010-2015 government allows parents to share this leave, even if they work at different companies, and start/stop it during the time when it would be taken (so mum can take the first 3 months off, then dad take a month off, then mum again, etc). Sorry for the hetero-normative example, adoptive parents also get paid leave in the same way.
So why are salaries in the U.K. so much lower than the US?
Seems like the only one paying for holidays is the worker.
Except here is something you didn't know - that British citizen isn't paying income tax at all. Their 0% bracket goes all the way to about $16,000 USD Today. That US citizen is paying about $1650 in income tax because there is no 0% bracket in the US. So in actual take home income they are almost exactly the same. The mess of tax code in both countries makes the calculations more complicated, plus other taxes, etc - but the point is that no, U.K. citizens are not being paid "so much lower" than the US on average, but they do get the benefit of never dying of preventable illness because they can't afford to see a doctor while having all that extra aforementioned paid time off and holiday benefits that US workers don't have.
Additionally, the US isn't even at the top of median individual income. Fennoscandia collectively has the US beat, by on average about 20%. Which is going to be offset by their average ~25%ish income tax, but still its comparable returns.
It turns out that if your economy is abusing you to get more productivity out of you that you don't get a better living out of it.
I made ~$80k USD and because of various tax incentives (3 children mainly), I paid almost exactly the $1650 ($1683) figure you mentioned for federal income tax.
So my intuition is that the tax burden for most poor families is almost nothing.
I would expect self reported income like that to be based on take home pay (so after taxes). And for many in the US, they will have health benefits that they don't include in the self reported figure (they may not even realize the amount their employer pays). That's hard to account for compared to the "everybody can use the NHS" included in the UK figure.
Untrue for Sweden and Norway, which have respectively 14.3% and 16.8% of their populations foreign-born. Not all of those foreign-born are from developing nations but developing nations figure heavily in the top-30 list for Sweden.
Norway is not significantly different when looked at in a similar light.
I wonder why? Could it be that competition has inspired them to compete? My point: free markets are a powerful thing. When there is no differentiation and everyone is “the same,” then it stifles innovation. Working at Peugeot is no more interesting than working for Renault. Which means their cars are going to be average. But if Peugeot were offering some great benefit, the best engineers would flock to Peugeot and that would result in better Peugeot cars. Renault, in order to compete would have to try and top Peugeot, which then leads to great engineers going there.. and so on until competition pressures ultimately drive companies to higher and higher levels of success and innovation. Just like what happens in Silicon Valley. Instead, in Europe, you have this malaise, this equalitarianism that inspires nobody. There is a lack of ambition.
Arithmetic is actually pretty useful for thinking about what more labor friendly laws might do in the US. Say you decide that every employee should get a paid day off if they work for 240 hours (this is 6 weeks full time, so someone averaging 30 hours a week would receive 6.5 paid days off each year). How much would that cost? It would cost right around 3% of what they are already being paid. And since we know people with no paid time off are working low leverage jobs, we can probably infer that it would come right out of the consumer surplus that their employee provides to customers.
But sure, let's pretend that some small baseline of non-hell would erode ambition in people competing for jobs at Netflix.
12 months paid leave at 67% of previous income plus 2 months if shared with the other parent.
There are so many companies you never hear about because you aren't in the industry they operate in.
In IT, I find it funny that Google has a higher market share in Europe than in the US.
The USA is below both Norway and Ireland in the rankings table of GDP per capita, pretty consistently over the different measurements.
I wouldn't personally attribute either of these to better educational or societal systems.
Are we going to ignore the effects of immigration and the comparative policies of both nations here, or just pretend that a mostly-homogenous nation like Norway (or other Scandi countries) should be equally compared to the United States?
Ireland’s gdp per capita overstates its wealth substantially as large parts of the economy by value is subsidiaries of US companies which repatriate profits back to the US. For economies like Ireland and Luxembourg better to use gross national product than gross domestic product.
Better again to use average individual consumption but statistics on that have only just begun to be gathered. Average household consumption makes the US look pretty great. The only country higher is the UAE and the top 5 is rounded out by Hong Kong, Switzerland and Luxembourg. Petrostates, city states and the US.
You could argue that maybe some solutions were not even tried before, or that they were tried and abandonned for random reasons. But actually, since the evolution process took a long time, we can reasonably say that we are witnessing the mean outcome of these events. Aka, in this case, the overwhelming majority is a work-related school schedule.
This doesn't invalidate 'free schools' such as Montessori, as these could be good local solutions. They just apparently don't scale to the ensemble of society since they didn't yet and had plenty of time to do so.
Another remark : this doesn't apply to things that were recently invented or discovered.
However, I think it's important that we try to learn from this emerging data. If a body of empirical evidence starts strongly suggesting that starting school 1-2 hours later will improve information retention and learning, and if we collectively wish to maximize the success and potential of our youth then we must begin to change in order to support these goals.
I hope that by the time my future child reaches school age we will have begun to embrace a more data-driven approach to learning along with the necessary support structures to support such a change. Perhaps labor laws could be constructed to allow for more morning flexibility for parents that can demonstrate they are the legal guardian of a child whose age is between some range. I'll hope for the best.
But if you have the resources, you can look for what you believe would be the best path for your future kid.
Also, most elementary schools around there offered before and after school programs that working parents can leverage to fit their schedules. That, and neighbors who took turns watching the bus stop to make sure everyone made it on time, gave us enough support to get to school when parents were on tight work schedules.
One additional reason is so that the older kids get home before the younger kids so they can supervise.
It's all perfectly rational. Unfortunately, ensuring students are rested and alert is far down on the list of priorities for education scheduling.
Numerous teachers in my school told me the real reason school doesn't start later is because of... wait for it: Sports.
Sports games/teams often finish practice/games as late as 6-8pm, especially after traveling for a game - and that's with a district whose high school started at 7:40am and middle school at 8am.
Is it too much for schools to actually prioritize academics over sports? Colleges are the same way.
And can you blame them? Why are sports being prioritized by institutions whose existential purpose has nothing to do with athletics?
If you guess it would take five hours, they could gather at 5 AM and school starts at 10.
>And can you blame them?
No. Doesn't change that they would be unfairly blaming this particular issue on sports.
If you are the kid who lives at the first stop, sometimes your bus time is as early as 5:55. I would never force my child to be up at 5 something to get ready for school. That is beyond ridiculous.
Finally, there are legitimate concerns over bullying. Kids are ruthless on the bus and is a real problem. When I attended high school almost two decades ago now -- fights, bullying, name-calling and harassing were common -- sometimes by the bus driver themselves! I can only imagine how much worse it is now.
There is 1 adult to supervise 40 kids and drive a bus. I wasn't really bullied that much as a kid because I was always about a head taller than everyone else, but any bullying I did experience was on the bus.
Something is catastrophically broken about your urban planning, school system, or community if every family is personally driving the kids to school. Maybe this meta-problem needs to be solved before addressing start times.
Yep. School is subsidized babysitting.
Of course there are school buses but then those apply to the morning as well.
Every person is a little different. One of our kids is definitely very alert and ready to learn in the early morning. The other one, unfortunately, isn't. The one-size-fits-all schedule is much more for the convenience of adults than for the effectiveness of education, unfortunately. Some of the other commenters point out that important things should not be too early or late. That may well work better. But I'd be a little worried that there is no such thing as one good schedule that works for every child or even a significant fraction of children.
For whatever reason I simply am more energetic and happy if I sleep until noon. Even if that means sleeping 12 hours, instead of 8 or so.
The phase is irrelevant to me. So if I'm going to take control I get up earlier because I find that is more productive for me. I hate every single morning of my life, but if I let my clock do what it wants I hate my entire life.
I wish more employers would be more flexible with time.
I have been writing about ways to reform the whole experience for years:
I've always been a morning person. Even as a kid I remember waking up with the sun because sleeping always felt like a waste a time with so much fun stuff to do.
so much fun stuff to do
DID NOT. (and still do not)
...have "fun stuff" to do.
My cross country team had no problem getting up at 7 in the morning for weekend and summer practice.
As a working parent, totally agree. Employers should be more accommodating for working parents just like they do for maternity/paternity programs, but they haven't yet.
Big corporations with HR and dedicated benefit personnels are more tolerable than most startups, unfortunately.
I was really surprised to see this is not the standard in the software world (where you can do your job just as well in overshifts to compensate for lost hours)
And you felt it necessary to pretend that people are explicitly trying to give parent's special treatment over non-parents, which isn't something I've seen anyone in this thread argue for.
And now I've gone and derailed the discussion further and given you the argument you were looking for.
That's fair, my comment does sort of sway. I'd delete it if HN let, my apologies.
To be fair, I did ask what it meant exactly, which was what I led with - but you're right, I did ask a second question.
I'm Still unsure what it means, exactly.
> And you felt it necessary to pretend that people are explicitly trying to give parent's special treatment over non-parents, which isn't something I've seen anyone in this thread argue for.
No, I didn't. I'm not going to argue the root, because you're right, it detracts from the conversation at large. Yet, I was not pretending by any stretch. (ie, my intent was not fake, again, this is not an argument, no one comment lol)
It was a complete clusterfuck. Both teacher and parents alike at both the elementary and the high schools all had a million reasons why it couldn’t possibly work. Since there are a limited number of buses which are shared, you can’t move one start time without moving the other.
It came up at every school event, sports practice, kids party, to the point where I would just walk away when people starting bitching about it one way or another.
The biggest issue was we had a new superintendent who wanted to “start a dialogue” about the start times rather than actually make a policy change. It took up hundreds of hours in PTO, Administrative, and Town Hall meetings and of course ended up in absolutely no change in the end. Everyone’s opinion of course had to be heard, whether it was a longer commute that a teacher would have, or then not having time to drop off their own child before getting to class, or impacting afternoon sports, or the something about the bus route, or... Of course none of the debate actually addressed if students would possible learn better from it.
I was so glad when they finally sent out the email saying they were dropping it just so that I wouldn’t have to hear the constant bickering.
It was like an engineering team with no lead and a non-technical manager arguing over what DBMS to use where no decision could be made until everyone agreed we had the “right” solution!
It's not as if you can schedule such things. Well, you could add more problems on a schedule I guess! You can't avoid the bad surprises.
If you've already missed 1 day for "my car broke down" and another for "I was vomiting", that one time you need to get the kid to school might be your 3rd strike.
Usually it happens in a job with fixed hours. Are you opening up the store in the morning? You'd better be there on time.
There are lots of jobs where it is not unreasonable to require punctuality on a pretty regular basis.
230 times a year? they probably can't.
Is that important if there is no way to make a different schedule work from a practical perspective?
I tried explaining that parents of high school students almost certainly were once parents of elementary school children, and those elementary school parents will almost certainly one day have kids in high school, but gave up.
The best part was the parents who had kids in both schools who would still argue against the change :-)
Speaking for myself, I was largely self-sufficient in terms of managing my day at 14. My peers were as well. The major inconvenience of the early hours was being unable to chaperone a younger sibling.
But the way we treat children and teenagers is rather callous and cynical at the system level.
If raising children would be really considered important, caregivers needa would not be treated with "shut up and do the things the most complicated way".
For that matter, calling school that starts an hour sooner then optimal "calous" is overly hyperbolic, manipulative and dramatic.
Do you know how miserable it is to be chronically sleep deprived for, like, a decade? Yes, it's callous to make someone suffer like that for the convenience of everyone else.
The debate about whethe start an hour later or sooner due to natural rhythms is completely pointless for students that don't sleep even minimal needed amount of hours. Those need to fix "hours slept" metric first.
What's going on here is that we don't give a shit about people, and we like pretending that the world is fair, so whenever we're committing an atrocity (yes, this is an atrocity, sleep deprivation is a form of torture), we try to blame it on the victim. Because "we have generated an atrocity, built our society around it, and are now trying to not come to terms with that" is a tougher pill to swallow than "teenagers just all, universally, suck".
This is garbage and I really wish parents would start seeing this as a big issue, big enough to raise hell not just with their school, but with their job and with society at large. Parents sure seem to have enough energy to cause teachers problems...
If you actually went to bed and stayed there and could not sleep anyway despite being horribly sleep deprived, then you really should visit some sleep center to help you. It is not nearly the same as mild performance drop due to having suboptimal sleep time.
I'm not sure what you're even trying to say. This is about chronotypes and a teenager-specific sleeping pattern that has been identified and studied.
Sleep deprivation is torture, this is not my definition. Sorry, we, as a society, decided that not letting people sleep properly is really fucking crappy. If you want to disagree with that, take that up with the party that came up with the terms. Messing with someone's sleep is a major offense, and there are various ways in which it can happen, and psychology recognizes them, even if you don't.
Yes, I'm sure most teenagers have means to go to a sleep center, with their full human rights and disposable income. And when pretty much every teenager has this problem I'm sure that's a good use of resources.
My 13 year old girl lives with us half the time. Her other parent the other part of the time.
They let her keep her phone with her all the time. She can completely skip sleeping entirely for more than 2 days when she has her phone all night, texting with friends. She's having fun, but then she crashes and burns HARD when she comes back to our house. Get's sick, can't focus, emotions out of control.
At my house we take her phone away at 10:00pm, and she is passed out 5 minutes later. Funny thing is, I sometimes take away the phone on Sunday, in the afternoon, and she will pass out 5-10 minutes after that too.
Her body just needs a lot more sleep than it is getting. This is probably true with a lot of adults too. We use electronic stimulus to keep us going far beyond our "natural rhythms". Take those away and people can sleep.
If the natural rhythm of a teenager is to be unable to sleep until 2:00am, what are they supposed to do if they ever change time zones? People may have a naturally tendency to be a night owl or whatever, but that is hardly the most important element in the sleep deprivation story going on right now.
My point being, your situation is not necessary comparable to others. Case in point, as a child I had a difficult time falling asleep at night without screens. I woke up late and was always tired in the morning. You might attribute this to a number of some factors we probably don’t have time to discuss here. Now, as a teenager I was able to fall asleep like a rock on most days but was still tired the next day in class. I can’t tell ya how many times I’ve heard “that lazy guy” Label being applied to myself and others who shared this trait because imo it’s too convenient to label someone rather than trying to understand the underlying issues.
In any case, I tend to agree that school most definitely starts too early for a growing human being whose development takes place at night and specifically mostly during slee when body is at rest. Is it a surprise then that a developing body requires more sleep? Circadian cycles or not, kids should probably start school at a later time. Now, whether society can accept this and modify adult schedules around new findings is a question not easily answered. I suspect for this to happen, society as a whole will need to move away from 9-5 or at least become more remote and or flexible.
No study of teenagers sleep patterns found that they are tortured via sleep deprivation. That is lie.
That pop culture cliché also have only kids who don't give a fuck about anything doing that. And it is fuelled by it being perceived as cool. Overwhelming majority of students don't sleep during class.
Wait, are there some places in US where teenagers aren’t allowed to do that?
I don't know when it was enacted but it certainly helped with congestion in the transports in the morning and in the cafeteria for lunch.
Students are autonomous though. I can imagine that school pupils are not and they cause troubles for parents.
We could have made school children autonomous far sooner if we wanted to.
I experienced this with an 8am biology class I was required to take. It wrecked my whole day. About 1/3 of the way through I just started skipping the class and then later getting notes of the lecture from a friend of mine. It ended up working dramatically well. I got an A, while my friend who got up every MWF to take the notes, got a B. It was kind of a wild result since my studying was based almost entirely on her notes. I hadn't given it too much thought, but it would make sense if being sleep deprived is what hurt her in this case.
It turns out, waking up at ~6 every morning, and usually not going to bed until 10/12 thanks to after school classes and homework, left me with less sleep than I even need to be functional now as an adult and turned highschool into a special sort of "kid jail".
I got punished innumerable times for sleeping in class, and probably spent more time by % fighting to keep my eyes open than I did paying attention. (I had at least one teacher who threw chalk at students who slept, it was such a common occasion)
This changed like a lightswitch when in college I was able to assert that I didn't take any classes before 10. By the end of my masters I had a 4.0 (highschool had been a struggle to maintain a 3.0 with much easier classes), although it took most of that time to re-learn how to learn and pay attention. The difference was so stark it puts a fire in my belly just to think about the amount of resistance I've seen to changing this status quo. I recognize this is "for adults/work" but as a working adult I refuse to concede that we can't come up with a solution that doesn't so entirely steamroll some kids for being wired to need more sleep.
From age 12 to 23 I thought something was wrong with me as a human because I was tired, depressed,and anxious but I've learned that when I sleep well those symptoms disappear. Life has been much better since I gained more control over my schedule.
I would encourage your friend to look at the Circadian Sleep Disorders Network site:
There is a mailing list mentioned there for people with circaidian rhythm disorders, a good way to hear about what works or doesn't work for other people (you don't need to join the organization to subscribe). There is a huge amount of individual variation both in how people are affected and what helps deal with it. Some people do well if they stick to their internal schedule and some of us don't. Unfortunately, there isn't really good treatment for circadian disorders and trying to live on the shifted schedule can be the easiest for for people who do well on that schedule (which is not to say easy as finding a job on such a schedule can be very difficult).
The standard treatment recommendation is melatonin and avoiding light before bed and light therapy in the morning. This works for some people, at least for a while, but not for most people (I'd recommend putting some effort into trying to adjust the schedule, just know that it might not work). If avoiding all screen time is too difficult, I recommend turning the color temperature on f.lux or redshift way down (I use 2500K). Also worth noting that trying to adjust your schedule by shifting forward can turn DSPS into Non-24 (that is what happened for me, and the CSD-N survey shows it has happened to a bunch of people while only a few find it helpful), so I'd highly recommend against that (unfortunately some sleep doctors recommend it). Also, stay away from benzos; they don't work long term but are addictive.
Apparently your sleep cycle does slowly get earlier as you age so maybe I’ll be able to do 9am to 5:30 in a decade or so! I may go back to the doctor and try melatonin supplements or something, but as long as work’s OK with it I’m doing alright.
Though I suppose there is a self-talk component too, whereby if you convince yourself it’s an innate problem (you’re young, you’re a developer, you’re special) then it might feel more like one. I used to tell myself I couldn’t exercise in the morning, a belief I maintained into my forties, then one year I needed to, after about a month of getting used to it, I was then a morning exerciser...
I agree with you that people do not perform when their rhythms are not in sync with their lives’ demands. However commenters and the article writers are inferring there is some inherent trait that prevents their body clock from adapting.
Which in turn might imply that humans still being rather young species is tuned to a rather strict day/night cycle, as seen close to the equator.