School Start Times

Do you get enough sleep on school nights?
By Kyra Klay

There has always been a debate on how early school start times can affect students and their learning. The human brain is not fully developed until the age of 25, and is very rapidly developing during the teenage years. Teenagers live extremely busy lives, going from a full day of school to sports or other extracurriculars, and then home to hours of homework which is followed by late nights and early mornings. At the minimum, teenagers should be getting at least nine hours of sleep each night, and starting school at a later time would help achieve that tremendously for students.

As a teenager myself, I  have an incredibly busy schedule as most kids my age do. I go to a full day of school five days a week, five hour shifts at work three nights a week, along with two hour soccer training three nights a week followed by games on the weekends. With an already packed schedule, I also have to keep up with school and homework just as all other high schoolers do. I can personally say that I am lucky to get nine hours of sleep at night, and on average I would say I only get about six or seven hours of sleep each night which really affects me school wise. According to the National Sleep Foundation, not getting enough sleep limits your ability to learn, listen, concentrate and solve problems. You may even forget important information like names, numbers, your homework or a date with a special person in your life.

As for most teenagers, focusing at school is already a difficult task but when you are sleep deprived it makes you much less motivated and focused as you would be after running on a full night of sleep. Starting school even an hour later would benefit me personally and many other high school students.

Another study done by the National Sleep Foundation said that teens need about 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night to function best. Most teens do not get enough sleep — one study found that only 15% reported sleeping 8 1/2 hours on school nights. As for many other studies done about the effects of sleep on teenagers, they all prove how pushing school start times later would majorly benefit students. I personally am affected by starting school at an early time every morning, and I can confidently say that it would not only benefit myself, but all of my classmates as well. School districts around the world should take this into consideration for the well being of their students and their academic performance.

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