The Many Benefits Of Later School Start Times In The Morning

1546 words - 7 pages

How many times has your alarm gone off at 6:30 in the morning and you just wished you had thirty extra minutes to sleep? If someone says they’ve never done that, I guarantee they are lying. Everyone has done that at least once, especially teenagers when their alarm goes off in the morning for school. People have challenged school boards asking why schools start so early. The reasons vary that they receive, ranging from that is when they can use the fewest buses and cut transportation costs to the time they’d get out of school along with extracurricular activities make for a long night and if they don’t start schools when they do, those events would occur too late in the night (Edwards 1, 3). It can also be disruptive to parents' work schedules, result in shortened times for after-school activities such as sports and clubs, cause students to get home later in the day, and may also impact hours available for after school jobs (Cline 5). Dennis Rosen, M.D., who is the assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, also says that waking up earlier might just be a good thing, because it sets up an internal clock that will help you as you get older and progress into getting your job after college (Rosen 4). After all, most people will not be able to wake up at 7:30 and go to a well-paying job every morning. In spite of all of this, there is another side to the topic that has had growing popularity. When schools start later in the morning, students have more time to sleep, eat breakfast, and at the end of the day have more concentration during school hours.
Many say that if schools started later students would just postponed homework to later hours and that there would be less family time. While this may be true, if schools starts at 8:30 or 9 as opposed to 7:30 or 8, students would have more time to sleep. No one knows exactly why we need sleep, but after multiple research efforts it has been suggested that the reason we require sleep is that it is essential to brain development, memory function, and cognitive skills (Caimey 1). Sleep is especially important for teenagers, as it is vital to our well-being, can help adolescents eat better and manage all the stresses of being a teenager (“Teens” 2). As teenagers are changing from a youth to an adult, they typically need more sleep and benefit from it greatly. The average teenager needs anywhere from 8.5 to 9.25 hours of sleep every night, even though only fifteen percent of teenagers get the minimum of that statistic (“Teens” 4).
With homework and after-school activities taking up time after school, it is typical for a high school student to not go to bed until 11:00 PM every night. Many parents wonder how their kid can stay up that late, but it is purely biological. Medical research states that during puberty a person’s circadian clock, or internal clock, changes and shifts toward later bed and wake-up times (Jacob 7). Because of this and the wake-up time in society not changing,...

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