Tired? It May Be Your School Schedule’s Fault.

Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Julianne Sorek '18, Staff Writer

Many studies have been conducted about teens and their sleep.  It is not commonly known that teenagers are biologically set to stay up and wake up later.  The National Sleep Foundation has done sleep studies on teens and found that school start times may create a problem in many teens’ lives.  The sleep deprivation teenagers often feel could be, in part, caused by their school schedules.

A poll by the NSF found that 60% of children under 18 complained of being tired during the day, and 15% fell asleep during school.  Studies have shown that school may start too early for teens.  Schools with start times before 8:30, have students bodies with increased rates of stress, depression, obesity, and student-driver crashes.  However, these occurrences are not solely cause by school start times. From difficulty levels of their classes to the food that the students are eating, many different factors contribute to these aspects of student life.

Academic improvement was visible in schools that began at 8:35 or later.  One study tracked 9,000 high school students in three states, and showed that the students’ grades in English, math, science, and social studies improved when the starting time for school was pushed back.  Teenage students require more sleep, and early school times disrupt the normal sleeping habits of teenagers.  Thus, more sleep makes students more prepared to learn, while an early start may leave them less prepared.

Schools transitioning from an early to a later start would definitely run into some disruption, but there are still many benefits.

Although there is still more investigation to be done with later starts, it may become more common practice in the future.