Want Better Quality Education For Florida’s Kids? Let Them Get More Sleep, Says State Legislator

Americans tend to deny that they need sleep to function correctly. It’s go, go, go all the time. It’s almost as though admitting to needing sleep is shameful when it is the key to succeeding and thriving. The Florida Legislature has made education a top priority this session with bills to do what’s best for children. One of those bills is HB 733, sponsored by Republican State Representative John Paul Temple, which will ensure middle and high school start no earlier than 8:00 am for middle schools and 8:30 am for high schools. 

Republican State Representative John Paul Temple has sponsored a House bill to ensure later school start times for middle and high schoolers. More sleep will provide greater focus and productivity for students.

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Currently, fifty percent of schools in Florida have start times before 7:30 am. Children need even more sleep than adults. They need a solid hour more sleep than adults over twenty-five to function at maximum capacity. How much sleep someone needs depends on their age. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has recommended that children aged 6–12 years regularly sleep 9–12 hours per 24 hours, and teenagers aged 13–18 should sleep 8–10 hours per 24 hours.

Until age twenty-five, we need more sleep to live productive lives. Lack of sleep contributes to obesity, depression, and learning difficulties.

Students need an adequate amount of sleep to stay focused and learn. Studies have shown that lack of sleep contributes to obesity, diabetes, depression, and learning issues. 

One might say that students could sleep earlier, but studies show that school-aged students don’t start to wind down until 11:00 pm.

This student won’t fall asleep at his desk if HB 733 passes. He will be able to get enough sleep because starting school will start later.

If anyone knows about the dangers of sleep deprivation for students, it’s Representative Temple, a lifelong educator with over twenty-three years of experience. He started as a math teacher. After seven years, he served as an assistant principal, then principal, and now the Director of Professional Learning and Accountability for Sumter County Schools. 

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Temple has shown his commitment to education by sponsoring this outstanding bill which establishes later start times for school as a zero-cost way to improve academic scores and mental well-being. 

Allowing middle and high school students to get a good night’s sleep by requiring later start times is a simple way to improve the quality of life and ensure that children in Florida get the most out of their education. 

These students are happy and healthy, a side effect of a good night’s sleep.

” What is the best way to do that, to prepare them for lifelong success?” Temple said in his closing remarks during one of his committee stops. All evidence points to just getting more sleep. This bill is sure to pass on the House floor this week. 

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