Beep! Beep! Beep! Aww is it that time already! I don’t want to get up yet! Can I skip first period? That is the sound in a teenagers room every morning before school. Then they drag their drowsy bodies into the bathroom to get ready for the day. Once they are showered and ready for the day then they get in their car and drive to school, half asleep. That doesn’t sound very safe. Then the students go to class and try to learn and remember the things they are taught while their bodies are still trying to rest. When test time comes, the students are unable to recall what they were taught when they first arrived at school because their bodies were too tired to process what they were learning. When school starts so early in the morning teens bodies are not ready to get up and learn something the will be asked to recall on a later date.
“A students natural clock isn’t set for a bright and early start” (Eveleth). Which is true, after puberty teen bodies are ‘programed’ to stay up later at night and get up later in the morning, making it hard for them to focus in school when they are forced against their “bodies natural make-up of sleeping in.” Instead they have to wake up early and go to school. The U.S Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said that “studies have shown that students do better if they start their school day rested and that while a later start time could be problematic for bus schedules, it’s ‘common sense’ that tells him teenagers are struggling to wake up early and make it to the buses,” He also added it is not his decision, it is up to each individual school (Varma-White). The start time is too early for students to be able to excel in school because their bodies are not ready for it.
When teens are forced to get up so early, their bodies and minds are not ready for the day, Allison Aubrey says:
Sleep scientists argue that early high school start times conflict with teens' shifting circadian rhythms. Beginning in puberty, "adolescents are programmed to fall asleep later," says Dr. Judith Owens, who directs the Sleep Medicine Clinic at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. And she says many teenagers can't fall asleep before 11 p.m. Because teenagers need eight to nine hours of sleep, waking up at 6 a.m. can lead to a pattern of sleep deprivation. And that puts them at higher risk of a whole range of potential problems, from depression to automobile accidents. (Qtd. in Eveleth)
If the students are wired to stay up until at least eleven at night and have to get up before they get the eight or nine hours of sleep they need that will affect them over the course of the day and over the course of the week, and their ability to do well in school will greatly decrease.
Unfortunately changing the start time for the school day isn’t as easy as it sounds, for reasons like changing bus routes, changing child care service times, and parents carpooling (School Start Time). For example Ray Leszcynski talks about how it would...