Why School Should Start Later

Why School Should Start Later

Maddie Pawlak, Staff Writer

Starting school later can help students get enough sleep, improve their health, academic performance, and quality of life.

 Delayed start time could help teens sleep during their natural sleep/wake cycles and there will be less tardies. Teens may be less likely to depend on caffeine to stay awake during the day. Adequate sleep could help teens be more alert during the school day, which could boost their academic performance. Sleeping longer could reduce health-related issues that accompany sleep deprivation.

While some people may think that teens are just lazy for not getting up early, doctors say that’s not actually the case. The American Academy of Pediatrics has urged school districts to consider later start times so that adolescents can get adequate sleep. Still, many districts have said that changing the time school starts just isn’t feasible.

 They concluded that poor sleep is linked to increased reliance on caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol. They also discovered a link between sleep deprivation and poor academic performance. Sleep deprivation has also been linked to an increased risk of car accidents. Researchers say teens experience hormonal shifts that make falling asleep earlier difficult, if not impossible. Their biological clocks simply won’t allow them to fall asleep before 11 p.m, even when they’re tired.

When asking Dylan Geckler, a 7th grade student, if,” School should start later?” She said, “Yes, because my brain functions better when I get more hours of sleep.”

Studies show that simply delaying school by 30 minutes can have a dramatic impact on teens’ health and performance. So most researchers recommend school start times be delayed.