The Cub Reporter

Filed under Opinion

Should Schools Start Later?

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Many people believe teens could do better if schools started at a later time. According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, schools should start at 8:30 a.m. or later to better align with the “biological sleep rhythms of adolescents, whose sleep-awake cycles begin to shift up to two hours later at the start of puberty.” This would seem obvious since middle and high schoolers stay up later for studying for tests and need to get a full night of sleep. Starting school earlier without a full night of sleep can affect teenagers health and academic performance.

If middle and high schoolers get more sleep and wake up later in the morning they will be more focused during the day and also more alert, leading to less of a possibility of being late or absent to school. Additionally many health experts say that teenagers should get at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night. If teenagers don’t get enough sleep it can lead to many serious consequences. Chronic sleep loss can lead to poor academic performance and a high chance of depression, obesity, and many other problems. Especially in highschool and sometimes even in middle school missing only one day is already a lot to catch up.

Aside from just negative academic problems it can also affect teenagers who drive. Many researches have shown that starting schools later can lessen the number of automobile accidents caused by tired teenage drivers. Especially high schoolers who begin to drive to school and don’t get enough sleep can cause more accidents. When high schoolers stay up until 2 to 3 am studying and have to wake up at 6 in the morning, they can barely get out of bed, and if they can’t even get out of bed it is difficult for them to even drive themselves to school. Although teenagers aren’t always the ones who cause the accidents, but it can help to reduce the number of accidents by simply making schools start later.

There are many schools that have already been considering or taking action to help improve the students academic performance and health. The schools who have already switched the schedule to start a little later have seen many big benefits and improvements for the whole school. They have noticed a huge improvement in the academic area for many students. Many teachers have seen many physical changes for each student as well. Also, the teachers have seen extensive improvement in the classroom environment, including, higher alertness, lower negative moods, and less likelihood of students falling asleep. Starting schools later can really help reduce negative effects on teenagers.

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Should Schools Start Later?