High Schools Should Have Later Start Times

High Schools Should Have Later Start Times

Yusuf Rahman, Reporter

According to sleepfoundation.org, only 15% of teens are getting 8 1/2 hours of sleep per night. In other words, a whopping 85% of teens are sleep deprived.

But why are so many teens not getting enough sleep? Why are only a small portion of teens getting the recommended amount of sleep?

The answer is simple: High schools starts far too early for teens to be getting enough sleep.

Teenagers have a much different biological clock than adults and children. They tend to sleep at later times in the night, and wake up late in the morning too. However, since high schools start so early, teens are getting a lot less sleep than what they need. Teens are getting up at 6 or 7 in the morning just to get to school on time. While teens could force themselves to sleep earlier, the fact that they have hours of homework, on top of various extra-curricular activities like sports, means that it simply isn’t possible to sleep earlier. As a result, teens are only getting 5 or 6 hours a night, which is nowhere near enough.

Having schools start later in the morning would greatly help alleviate this problem. Even getting just 1 extra hour of sleep is very helpful. For me personally, managing to get even just an hour more of sleep makes a huge difference in my day. I’m able to accomplish a lot more than what I usually do, and focus a lot better in my classes. In fact, research has shown that teens perform better later in the morning. Having schools start later would mean better grades, less car accidents, and even lower depression rates. That is far better than just getting out of school earlier.

There is really no problem in having schools starting later. Most of the problems have easy solutions, and the positives greatly outweigh any other ones. The health benefits, better grades, and even increases in safety make later start times a very viable option. I strongly believe that schools need to start later.