Arguably one of the most challenging tasks for high schoolers is waking up to your 6:00 AM alarm. Around 80% of high schools start before 8 A.M, and this does not support the fact that teens have a natural biological tendency to stay up late and sleep in. This makes it difficult for high schoolers to get the sleep they need, which can lead to drowsiness, poor academic scores, and decreased alertness. Personally, I can say after completing a whole day of school, going home, finishing homework, and going to work, I am not able to go to bed until roughly midnight. Most high schoolers agree that they do not get enough sleep, and the solution to this is to start schools later, allowing students to get the sleep they need to be alert during school.
Psychology teacher Mrs. Bridges gives her input, saying “The Circadian Rhythm (The Sleep-Wake cycle) in teens shifts, making them fall asleep later and sleep in later. This makes it hard for high schoolers to wake up early for school while still getting the sleep they need.” By starting schools later, students would be able to follow their natural sleep-wake cycle while still getting the sleep they need to function at school.
Senior Sophie Deiters says “School starting later would give teens more time to sleep and I think sleep has a big affect on our happiness and our overall well being as well as our ability to perform in school.”
Not only would starting schools later cause students to feel more awake and alert, but it would also improve academic scores, reduce health risks, reduce caffeine reliance, and more. However, there are also downsides to starting school later. For example, a later start time would affect the schedule for sports, clubs, and other extracurricular activities. It would also affect students availability for work, as they wouldn’t be out of school until a later time. This could have a negative impact on student’s lives, if they aren’t able to get as many hours in at work as they need to.
While schools starting later would require a lot of time, effort, and money from schools nationwide, it would likely be very beneficial to the students. It might take time, but starting schools later would have a positive impact on academic scores and student health.