High School Should Start At A Later Time

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High School Should Start At A Later Time

Written by: Gracie Hermreck, Reporter

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For many, sleep is a sought after luxury, often stolen from one through homework, activities and other obligations. While life can often get in the way of rest, physician Rachel Nall says that students must get eight and a half to nine and a half hours of sleep to have a completely productive day. By pushing back the time school starts in the morning, students are more likely to receive the needed amount of sleep, resulting in a more productive, safe and healthy student body.

While school may seem like the perfect environment for education, lack of sleep can create an impossible learning situation. A study done by the National Center for Biotechnology proved that students who had slept for the needed time performed much more efficiently throughout the school day in comparison to students who had only slept six hours. The same students who received minimal hours of sleep were also more prone to suffer from anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. By allowing students a later start time, they give their bodies a chance to repair and become healthy for the day to come.

Along with an increase in productivity and working efficiently, getting the proper amount of sleep also allows students a safer routine. It was found in multiple studies, including one through education.com that students who do not get the proper amount of sleep are much more susceptible to harming themselves. It was even found that sleep deprivation was directly linked to a higher rate of car accidents involving teens. Researchers such as Rebecca Koransky, further this claim, saying that sleep deprivation, a struggle prevalent in many teens lives, causes over 20 percent of car accidents. 

Not only does a later start time keep students safe from accidents, but helps them create healthier habits. Sleep is extremely important in keeping a healthy lifestyle. Students suffering from a lack of sleep often find themselves falling back on unhealthy habits, including caffeine, energy supplements, alcohol and tobacco. By allowing students more time for adequate sleep, fewer peers will find themselves falling back into these habits. With all of this evidence pushing towards a later start in highschools, certain people still have their doubts. 

Some argue that the effects of school’s current start time could be changed, simply by falling asleep earlier. While this seems like an easy solution, studies say falling asleep before 11 p.m. may be harder than expected. A recent project done by educationdegree.com showed that the teen’s body naturally falls asleep around 11 p.m. With this, it is close to impossible for many to fall asleep early enough to receive the adequate amount of rest needed for a productive day. Sleep deprivation in teens is greatly driven by their internal biological clocks, as well as the schedules and demands placed on them by society. 

All in all, it is important to look at the key roles that sleep plays in a highschooler’s life. By pushing back the start time of high school to 9 a.m., students can perform in a more productive, safe, and healthy way. 

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