Schools should Start Later

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STUDENTS are tired and overworked. Teachers and other school personnel don’t understand this. They expect everyone’s full attention and 100% participation all day every day no questions asked. They treat students like they are robots and can multitask multiple huge projects and everyday life and to get everything done soon but the truth is that the average student cannot do that. They handle an exorbitant amount of pressure socially, from school, from their parents and family, and even from themselves. They are stressed trying to complete their schedules every day and to not fall behind but there are just not enough hours in the day to get it all done, and completed correctly, and get all school work turned in on time, on top of the stuff needed to be done for their health, for social development, and for their own personal development. The education system expects too much and is causing more harm to the development of adolescents then they are helping.

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It goes without saying that school has always been an early morning thing. Students have to get up early to be to school anywhere from 7 to 8:30. Since the beginning of America’s education system, all schools across the country have started with a single set time, at which, students were all expected to be there, awake and ready to learn, but why is that the expectation(Wahlstrom)? Why does school have to be an early morning thing? As the body matures and ages natural sleep patterns change. The bodies natural sleep schedule changes so someone who “went to bed at 8 pm in elementary school”(Sosnowski)probably won’t go to bed until after 10 pm once they are around high school age.

Students are tired and groggy. They don’t want to participate or pay attention that early in the morning, it goes against the biological makeup of their brains(Wahlstrom). It affects everything including their grades in school. Studies have shown that the brain isn’t even completely functional until around 10 am. “In the teens, the secretion of the sleep hormone melatonin…continues until about 8 a.m.” (Wahlstrom), and for students to be healthy they should not wake before seven in the morning. So

for the body to not stop the natural secretion of melatonin till 8, it is mental torture to make students be completely ready and prepared for information to be crammed down their throats by 8:30 five out of seven days a week; which in turn forces them to wake up anywhere from one hour early to between 2 to 3 hours early ,to be able to, be ready to leave the house and also to take into account the time it takes for commute to the school or even to the bus stop, where they have to be there at an early time to allow enough time for the bus to pick up all the bus stops and get to school before the start time.

Social development and health are just as important as education. Lack of sleep is a health problem. It negatively affects academic performance physical and mental health. Sleep deprivation ‘compromises their entire quality of life'(Sosnowski). High school students spend roughly 7 hours at school.and then they come home and have to do roughly another 2 to 5 hours doing homework on top of sports practice, not to mention having choirs they have to do at home and giving some time to socialize, eat,

bathe, and to get at least 8 hours of restful sleep (Sosnowski). Students aren’t the best time managers in the first place and they will overschedule themselves to try to improve and meet the high standards they are pressured by to be able to have good grades, to get into a good college, and to have a healthy social life (Sosnowski). To be healthy though teens need to play sports, hang out with friends, to have some free time to spend interacting with other people and not focused on school. However,

for a lot of teens, social life means electronics, phone, computers, or video games, but electronics cause interruptions in teens’ sleeping schedules. Tiredness can cause problems with social development. It can cause “mood swings and depression” in students and cause them to make poor choices, to hang out with the wrong crowd, to get into substance abuse and into trouble(Sosnowski). It is also plausible for juveniles who do not sleep enough to be corpulent or overweight due to not participating in physical activities, and/or facing depression(Wheaton). Increased depression is found to rise significantly in students who sleep less than 9 hours a night, and depression symptoms, such as hopelessness, a feeling of despair, and sadness, increase by 33 percent in teens who get 4 hours or less of sleep a night(Wahlstrom). So to improve high school students’ overall quality of life students need more sleep.

The national sleep foundation recommends 8-10 hours of sleep for students, so in order to achieve that schools need to institute later start times (Wheaton). Encouraging “high schools to modify start times to enable students to get sufficient sleep and subsequently improve their health, safety, academic performance, and quality of life'(Wheaton). By starting school later students get more sleep by being able to wake up later, instead of trying to go against their natural biology by making them go to bed early. By just sleeping longer by 30-40 minutes attendance would be higher and grades would increase(Dunster). Schools would get a better result academically and would have a better job teaching students by dilating school start times and allowing teens to get more sleep so that they can be more awake and active at school so that they can also spend less time worrying about homework and being caught up.

If the school would have less homework, less testing, on top of later school start time, teens’ would actually be able to get help and time manage better. They should have to deal with hours upon hours of homework and studying because it causes stress and depression. It severely compromises their health and if the school actually gave a damn about their students well being they would notice and take action

all of their obligations cause stress and compete for their attention causing reasons for sleep deprivation, excessive tiredness, depression, poor judgment skills, and harmful action. So stop putting so much pressure on them. Allow them to have time to relax, and for the school that may not be able if to find a way to do it, if they really cared about the students that will one day become the adults helping to support the country they find ways to make it possible. They would find ways to be able to grow and mature the way they need to so that they can be strong and ready for the adult life and the world ahead of them.  

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Schools Should Start Later. (2021, Feb 26). Retrieved January 30, 2023 , from

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