Early School Start Times: Good or Bad?

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Kids and teens shouldn’t wake up for school at 5:30 to 6:30 and have to arrive and start their day by 7:30. Waking up early comes with a lot of different affects on adolescents: Sleep deprivation puts teenagers into a kind of perpetual cloud or haze. “According to the 2014 School Health Policies and Practices Study, 93% of high schools and 83% of middle schools in the U.S. started before 8:30 a.m. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that middle and high schools start at 8:30 a.m. or later to give students the opportunity to get the amount of sleep they need, but most American adolescents start school too early.(3)

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During puberty, adolescents become sleepy later at night which leads to them sleeping in later in the morning, resulting from rhythmic shift.These biological changes are normally mixed with poor sleeping habits. Technology keeps them up late at night and parents a lot of the times don’t enforce cut off times. During the school week, school start times are the main reason students wake up when they do. The combination of late bedtimes and early school start times results in most adolescents not getting enough sleep.

Teenagers that are 13 to 18 years old should normally sleep 8 to 10 hours per day to have good health. Adolescents who do not get enough sleep are more likely to:Perform poorly in school, Not engage in daily physical activity/workout, Feel sluggish, Suffer from symptoms of depression, Smoke, drink, and using illicit drugs., Be over weight. There is data that shows that because teens are not fully developed in terms of their executive functioning,” says Carskadon, “even acute short-sleep can lead to risky behavior and poor judgment. The combination of the lack of infrastructure and poor sleep sends them down the wrong path (Garey 11).

Teenagers don’t get a lot of sleep during the school year because they are so busy working after school, doing homework, sports, and hanging out with their friends. They try to make time to do all these things, and with that they end up staying up late. However they feel they can make up for it by sleeping in on weekends, it doesn’t work out that way. Teens end up being sleep-deprived (not getting as much sleep as their minds and bodies need) and end up tired all of the time.

Difficulty falling asleep is a common complaint among parents of young children. In a lot of cases, this problem is due to using different bedtime routines instead of the same bedtime routine each night. Some studies have shown that children who have a hard time falling asleep can learn to go to sleep, if adults begin to set clear limits around bedtime rather than jumping around or letting the kids stay up with the parents until the parents go to bed.

A lot of young children have going to bed routines and prepare for bedtime a certain way. For example they will go to the bathroom, use the bathroom take a bath, brush their teeth, then read a story. Having a regular time to go to bed helps to set the body’s natural clock (circadian rhythm), so that a child will become sleepy everyday at a certain time. Bedtime routines help young children make the physical and emotional transition from their normal days off to bed.

However once they fall asleep it can sometimes be hard for them to stay asleep. It is normal for them to wake up several times during the night, but the real issue can arise when kids cannot fall back to sleep on their own. Most of the time the reason behind this is that the child has never learned to fall asleep without help. Children will fall asleep while they are being held, rocked or fed so they will need the same remedy to fall back to sleep.

A lot of sleep issue blame falls onto the parents of these whether they’re younger or teenagers. Teenagers have different technology routines that they use to fall asleep such as going on Instagram or watching Netflix until they feel tired enough to fall asleep. These makes for a lot of regrets in the morning when they have to get up for school. The same situation but different sleep issue is with little kids who need to be read to, to fall asleep but have to wait for their parents to come do this task.

If the government were to change the times that schools start it would help kids have more time to sleep in even an hour difference. A lot of kids go to certain schools but come from different areas, however they still have to be there at the same time as everyone else. When they’re coming from a further area than where their school is they have to get up even earlier than some of the other kids. This leaves kids with only a few hours of sleep, and they have to use just those few hours of recharged energy for a long day at school filled with many different task. Being so tired can be very dangerous if they’re working in a science class and have to do an experiment. It can also ruin their grades if they have to take an important test and they can’t focus.    

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Early School Start Times: Good or Bad?. (2020, Aug 20). Retrieved November 27, 2022 , from
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