Should School Start Later?


Every morning before school, I can barely move. My body is exhausted even after barely getting eight hours of sleep. I have 15 minutes to get ready for school. Feeling tired and rushed, my day starts off badly.
To solve this problem, I believe schools should start later. With the current start time, students are unable to get enough sleep, lack confidence while at school and have a harder time focusing in school.
The natural melatonin in a teenager – the hormone that makes you tired – is released around 11:30 pm. To get the minimum recommended amount of sleep (eight-10 hours), a teen would have to wake up at 7:30, but for many people, including myself, leaving the house at 7:30 a.m. is a necessity if they want to arrive at school on time. This means teens have to cut back on the amount of sleep they get every night if they want to arrive at school on time. Also, eight hours is the minimum amount of sleep a teen should get, but not all teenagers are the same. Some may only need eight hours, while others need 10 hours to function. How do you expect students to feel and perform well while they have the cards stacked against them?
When students try to get enough sleep, they do not have enough time to get ready for school. According to the International Journal of Behavioural Medicine, getting ready can boost your mood, productivity and confidence. Personally, if I don’t get enough sleep or don’t get ready in the morning, I feel neither confident nor productive. This dilemma has no solution. I cannot have both the right amount of sleep and the confidence of getting ready. If school started later, I would have enough time for both of these.
Lastly, the amount of sleep affects a student’s productivity in school. A study from the Sleep journal shows that lack of sleep impairs judgment and decreases the amount of concentration and alertness a person has. Studies also show that a healthy amount of sleep will not only boost your mental health, but it will boost your physical health as well. Students cannot learn like this. Teachers complain that students aren’t participating, but we don’t have the energy to raise our hand. We don’t have the energy to concentrate. We don’t have the energy to do anything.Teachers are doing all they can, but the system is failing us.
School start times need to be pushed back. Look around in your classes. Students are sleeping in school. Yes, boredom can contribute to it, but pure boredom doesn’t make someone fall asleep. Schools are supposed to educate students, but students can’t learn with sleep deprivation. We are expected to do the impossible: wake up after an inadequate amount of sleep, look presentable, participate and learn. Something needs to change.