Benefits of Later High School Start Times
“Ring ring ring” it is six thirty A.M. and you can barely open your eyes. Today there is a test in first period and you cannot even remember what you studied last night because of how tired you are. Almost every high school student including myself has suffered from this, that feeling in class where you say to yourself “right when I get home, I am going to take the biggest nap ever”. But of course because of work or an after school club or some type of practice for a sport you never do get that nap. You just try to go to sleep a little early but still you always feel horrible in the morning because you are so tired. You just yawn and blink slowly, no focus or paying attention in your first classes, just sleepiness. The importance of rest for high school students is known. To be active, aware and at the top of their game, high school students need to be fully rested. But with the starting of most high schools so early, students are never performing at their best academic ability. Therefore, high schools should start later for the best interest of students. The significance and negative effects of sleep deprivation on high school students and how later times for high schools will help eliminate this will be shown and proven.
Nearly every high school student would benefit from having a later high school start time because of the biology of adolescents sleep. The sleep patterns of adolescents in puberty are widely studied and known. Research shows students need around eight to nine hours of sleep each night because of the changes their sleep patterns are undergoing during puberty (Wolfson, Carskadon 3). Later start times are so important because of the sleep phase delay almost every adolescent and student in high school undergoes. Meaning high school students naturally are more prone to later times of falling asleep and waking up (“Backgrounder: Later Times” 1). The average bed time for a person in the adolescent stage is eleven P.M. or later because of this sleeps phase delay. As you are seeing, students are caused to wake up later. Early start times are a conflict with students since they want to sleep longer and wake up later. Besides this, teens internal clocks are changing during puberty, the effect of this change is they feel wide awake when it is their bed time even if they are completely exhausted. This causes them to stay up later and loose much needed sleep (“Backgrounder: Later Times” 1). Both sleep delay phase, and the change of internal clocks lead to students becoming sleep deprived. The effects of sleep deprivation on high school students are very harmful. Students cannot perform at their full potential because of the impairing of their alertness, problem solving, and ability to pay attention, retain information and cope with stress. All of these skills are important for the success of a high school student. Later high school start times lower this disability towards students because of how they will correspond with the biology of high school students.
The biology of high school students and their sleep patterns shows how significant later high school times can be in aiding teenagers to higher academic performance. In addition, there is a lot of statistical information and research from actual practices of later start times at schools that show moving high school times to later help students. A study in two thousand four was taken on the effects of later school start times compared to earlier ones. To sum up, two schools in Massachusetts had different start times (“Adolescents Sleep Inside Brain” 4). One school started at seven fifteen while the other started at a later time of eight thirty seven. There was no change in bed times just start times. The results from the study showed that the students attending the earlier starting school had problems staying up in school and were tardy more (“Adolescents Sleep...