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This year, Wyoming Area administrators introduced an incentive program called “Senior Sign In.” It is something new that has never been tried before in the school district but is a blessing in disguise for those senior students lucky enough to be a part of it.

Any senior students who have passed their Keystone exams, have good attendance, and maintain above average grades, have the option to come to school an hour later, as they are not scheduled for a first period class.

So? Why is this a big deal? It is a well-known fact that teenagers stay up later than they should during the week and don’t get enough hours of sleep. When they report to school, they are not fully awake, functioning or focused.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers should get “between 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night.” Students are said to live a healthier lifestyle when getting the proper amount of sleep.

There are also negative consequence for lack of sleep. These include difficulty listening, staying focused, and the ability to problem solve. If that wasn’t enough, a lack of sleep can also lead to stress, acne, aggressive behavior, unhealthy eating habits, and worst case scenario, illness.

The seniors who are a part of “Senior Sign In” are feeling the benefits of more sleep and are thankful.

“I am much more energized and ready to take on the day,” said Genevieve Federici. “Although it is only an extra hour of sleep, I am far more attentive and alert than I was previously.”

Federici is not the only one excited about this incentive program.

Hallie Stark said, “In comparison to last year, I am much more excited to go to class and learn. It is much easier to pay attention and be a responsive student when you get enough sleep.”

It is crucial that students are well-rested before they can be expected to achieve academic success. Extra sleep at night can be and has been proven to be beneficial to students in school.

Tommy Walkowiak is a student at Wyoming Area High School. Student columns are published in The Citizens’ Voice on Wednesdays during the school year as part of the Newspaper in Education program.