Blog Prompt #7: TED Talk

Briefly summarize the content of this talk.

Sleep is essential, especially for students, as it is the prime time for the body to heal itself, and for the brain to strengthen in terms of learning abilities, information retention, and emotional processing. But when these teens are forced to rise in the morning and get ready for school practically before the crack of dawn, the little but vital time that their body needs to improve itself is stripped away from them. That is what this video is all about. In this TED Talk, sleep researcher Wendy Troxel elaborates on the issue that school commences far too early, when the teenage brain is hardly as active as it should be in a learning environment.

Why did you choose this talk?

I chose this talk primarily because I agree with just the title alone, and so it caught my eye right off the bat. I have always been one to believe that school starts a little too early, and that there is a good chance that results and overall averages in school would be a lot higher in the event that school started later. I feel that students would be a lot more attentive, motivated, and positive if they were only able to achieve a healthy amount of sleep at night.

What did you agree with in this talk? Why?

I definitely agree that in general, teenagers do not get enough sleep considering how much time they spend consistently learning and listening, and that this issue can have detrimental effects physically, mentally, and emotionally. As mentioned in the TED Talk, although most teenagers claim to be content with the eight hours of sleep that they get, they do not realize that eight is the bare minimum recommendation. In essence, a majority of these teenagers in school are functioning through dragging lessons and never-ending assignments without getting the right amount of sleep at night, therefore hindering their ability to learn effectively. As a result of sleep deprivation, students feel more irritable, lazy, unmotivated, and inattentive, which are the last characteristics any learning adolescent needs.

What did you disagree with in this talk? Why?

I disagree with the fact that sleep deprivation is not entirely a result of social media usage, mainly because if you spend all night watching Netflix shows and lose sleep because of it, it really is your fault. You will never feel tired at night if you constantly excite yourself and your brain with intense plot lines and addictive social media sites. So, at that point, the school’s policies have nothing to do with what time you go to bed and what time you wake up, as in the end, you have complete control over that.

What questions do you have after this talk?

With the research and relevant statistics involved, I feel that Wendy Troxel did a great job at explaining the science and facts behind sleep deprivation and how school start times have an immense influence on teenagers’ unhealthy sleeping patterns. With that being said, I am definitely curious about whether or not education directors or authoritative figures of the like took this TED Talk (or any other similar research involved) into account and actually went through with changing their school board’s start times, in order to make a positive impact on the health of their students.

Would you recommend this talk to a friend? Why or why not?

I would definitely recommend this to all of my friends who can relate to the issue, such as friends who take naps after school, friends who are often late to first period, and friends who feel exhausted less than an hour into the school day. They would appreciate the fact that someone from a generation far before ours actually understands a relatively simple but extremely important concept that we believe in. I think they would also find the concepts and science very interesting and enlightening considering that sleep deprivation is something they’ve probably experienced before.

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