Is starting school later the best option for high school students? While the pros heavily outweigh the cons there are many issues that could arise with pushing back the start time. Teens may now be able to get the recommended amount of sleep along with their sports and homework schedule.
Currently, teens have a rigorous sleep schedule due to the buildup of school work, jobs, sports, as well as personal hygiene.
The National Sleep Foundation confirms that it is natural for a teen to fall asleep around 11 p.m. We all do it, don’t deny it. With teens needing eight to 10 hours of sleep nightly, waking up around 7 to 7:30 a.m. is deemed ‘normal.’
However, since school starts at 7:50 a.m., there’s no time to wake up fully, get dressed, shower, eat, if we’re lucky enough to not feel sick to eat that early in the morning, and drive the distance to the school. It’s worse for students who live as far away as Florence.
New York Times’ Aaron E. Carroll’s article “The Economic Case for Letting Teenagers Sleep a Little Later” and the health website VeryWell both talk about the advantages and disadvantages of students’ being able to sleep later as well as starting school later. With this later sleeping time, high schoolers would be less likely to depend on caffeine to stay awake.
This isn’t going to stop us from having that triple shot Americano macchiato for the biggest wake-up call every morning, but imagine being able to sleep in.
Do you stay up late and sleep in late on the weekends? I do, and the effects on the human body can cause trouble with ‘biological clocks’ as well as the quality of our sleep.
Many teens suffer from disorders such as narcolepsy, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, and sleep apnea. While all these are treatable, they cause further disruption to a teen’s life, adding onto the stress we already feel with school work, sports, and family.
Vice principal Margo Duneman confirmed that the district has already started talking about an 8:30 starting time to be enacted next year. Mentioning the ‘vicious little cycle’ of students still coming in late, Duneman says that a later starting time will not only benefit students, but aid teachers who have labs and larger lessons to set up for their first period classes.
While obviously good for the students, parents come into question as well.
Jobs tend to start a little later in the morning, around 8:30 a.m. or 9 a.m., making it extremely easy for parents to drop their kids off at school before running to work.
Parents are just as concerned about their kids’ health as teachers are about their students’.
This great sleeping time and hopeful less dependence on caffeine will help teens be more alert during the day, as well as boost academic performance, and help reduce health issues connected to sleep deprivation.
However, staying up late to catch up on Game of Thrones, watch that newest season of Stranger Things, or fangirl/boy over Riverdale, will seem more appealing since getting up early won’t be necessary anymore.