We all know the struggle of getting up in the morning and trying to look at least half presentable for school. As a high school senior in the United States, I do this five times a week. My iPhone alarm goes off at 6:30am and I’m out of my house by 7:15am to make it on time for my first class which starts at 7:40am.
Not to mention, I usually only get six to seven hours of sleep a night, when the minimum a teenager should be getting is about eight. So, obviously, this is not a good combination and I absolutely think that school should start later. The best part? Science agrees with me.
Studies show that high schoolers cannot perform at their best before 8:30am which means if I have a test in my first-period class, I simply cannot do my best. Only 15% of public high schools in the United States actually start after 8:30am, however, many secondary schools in the U.K. do (you’re lucky).
Because of the way teens’ sleep cycles work, waking up too early requires students to wake up in the middle of a deep sleep which can make them feel even more tired regardless of the amount of hours they slept according to the Start School Later initiative.
So, basically, school doesn’t need to start later because students are lazy, it needs to start later because of teenagers’ biological clocks. It’s also proven that sleep deprivation can cause eating disorder and substance abuse.
In addition to the health benefits, starting school later and ending it later can prevent students from driving while tired and is proven to boost the moods of teenagers (which sometimes seems impossible). Basically, this is something that the United Statues Department of Education should really consider and attempt to follow in the footsteps of our BFFs in the U.K..