Should Schools Start Later?

This is why schools should start at 9:00 A.M. instead of 7:30 A.M.

(Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

(Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

Brendan Moore, Junior Writer

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Are you tired of waking up at 6 a.m. to go to school and take a rigorous exam?

According to a School Health Policies and Practices study, 93% of schools start before 8:30 A.M. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine came to a conclusion that teens aged 13 to 18 should get at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep. Teens who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight, depressed, engage in drugs and alcohol, and perform poorly in school.

On the flip side, students have now become used to an early start. An early morning start also gives students more time for after school activities like clubs, theatre and sports. There is plenty of time for homework as well. Many students need to earn extra money to pay for college in the future. An earlier start won’t suit that option.

Teenagers, on average, get seven hours of sleep per night. After puberty, a teens internal clock shifts two hours. So if a teen used to go to bed at ten o’clock, he or she won’t be able to fall asleep until midnight. This means the kid will wake up two hours later in the morning. If student is involved in school, he or she may have later bedtimes to participate in all of their activities.  

Sleep is important for overall performance as well. Athletes need an adequate amount of sleep to perform at their best. With less sleep you become less alert and drowsy. Athletes should sleep for an extra hour more than everyone else.

Orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist David Geier says, ”Just as athletes need more calories than most people when they’re in training, they need more sleep, too”.

Stanford University conducted a study with their basketball team. Players added an average of two hours per day of sleep. The players increased their running speed by 5% and their free throws were a whopping 9% more accurate. This study really shows how sleep can benefit you.

An earlier start time could benefit teachers. Teachers are able to give more homework to students because of all the time after school. This means the teachers are able to spend an extended period of time on a concept. The teachers can also dive deeper into the material assuming that kids do their homework.

So are you done waking up early to attend school or do you want to keep it the same because you love after school activities?

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