Later School Start Times Can Benefit Students

Later School Start Times Can Benefit Students

By Dahlia Muthanna, reporter

When students move on in schooling to middle school and high school they are faced with the change of the school’s starting time. There has been an on-going debate on whether or not the start time of schools for 7-12th graders should be changed. Some individuals even state that K-6 students having to go to school earlier can also be beneficial. I am in favor of the change in school times. Changing the school times for older students can help them get more sleep and help them be more prepared for the school day.

Changing school times for older students can improve their school work and grades. Many students enter school each day tired from the lack of sleep, therefore, falling asleep in class or not evening paying attention. The grades of students have been dropping drastically over the last couple of years. Research shows that teens require just as much sleep as they got when they were children.

Since the 1970s, there has been a growing awareness to the change in sleep that children are facing as they enter adolescence. According to Nationwide Children’s, teenagers tend to fall asleep around 11 p.m. or even later. Since research has shown that children need at least nine hours of sleep, it would only be logical to start the school schedule at a later time giving students time to be fully rested and ready for the school day.

Teens not getting enough sleep can also affect their health. The lack of sleep has been shown to lead to depressive symptoms, obesity, cardiovascular problems, risk-taking behavior, and athletic injuries. According to a new study, students risk of developing diabetes increased due to the decrease of insulin resistance.

Also in 2010, studies found that students who go to bed later than midnight have a higher risk of developing depression over time. Many individuals counter by staying that students stay up all night on their technology but what some people don’t know is that assignments that are given to students have caused a large number of students to stay up later than healthy in order to complete their homework.

Starting school at a later time has also been found to lower the risk of driving accidents due to sleepy teens. In 2008, a study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that crash rates fell a total of 16.5% in the two years after school districts changed the start time of their schools. Crashes have either been fatal or have scarred the young adults for life, changing what they had planned for the future. People throw the blame at the parents for handing them technology devices that keep them up at night and for not for limiting the time their children use their gadgets, but I for one am supposed to give up my phone at seven o’clock every day and I am still tired every day when I am at school.

The fact that many teens aren’t getting the sleep they need and that the outcome is affecting them greatly is a problem that can and should be fixed. I and many students like me are trying our hardest to achieve our goals but the simple issue of sleep is standing in our way. Hopefully, in the near future, more people realize the problem and they start helping students who are suffering so they can reach their hopes and dreams for the future.