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Should schools start later?

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Many teens today do not get enough sleep each night. One cause for this problem is may be that schools start too early every morning. If schools started even just a little later, sleep wouldn’t be as much as an issue in teenagers’ lives.

Teenagers need around nine hours of sleep each night, however only a small amount of teens actually get that amount. According to, “Typical sleep cycles begin around 11 p.m. for teenagers and continue through 8 a.m.. This means that an early wake-up call (5 or 6 a.m. to allow many teens to catch buses or commute to early-start schools) not only allows 6 or 7 hours of sleep per school night at most but also requires students to wake up in the middle of deep sleep. According to most sleep experts, most adolescents need about 9 hours of sleep per night. Today nearly 3/4 get under 8 hours of sleep per night, and over 2/5 get 6 or fewer.” Students are forced to learn when they’re too tired to even pay attention in class. Many of my friends have actually told me that they barely get enough sleep each night. One school, according to, even held an experiment to see what would happen if their schools started later, “The school conducted an experiment to measure the impact of shifting the arrival from 8 am to 8:30 am. That half hour difference increased student satisfaction, gave kids an extra 45 minutes of sleep, and students were less likely to fall asleep in class or while doing homework. No one wanted to return to the 8 am schedule.” If the results of this experiment turned out so good, that nobody wanted to return to their normal schedule, imagine what would happen if every school changed the time their classes began.

Teenagers who do not get enough rest tend to do worse in school. According to, “Less sleep negatively impacts teens’ grades and increases tardiness, according to Dr. Owens, who explained that there are several health hazards, including drowsy driving, which can lead to an increase in car accidents.” When teens don’t get enough sleep their grades drop. If we allow students to get more rest each night, maybe they’ll perform better in their classes.

You are more likely to get injured when you’re tired. According to, “Research has even shown that students who get less than 8 hours sleep at night were two-thirds likely to get injured than those who do. What’s more, 20%+ of these injuries required a trip to the emergency room. Think about it, if you get more sleep you won’t be as drowsy, clumsy, and probably have better reflexes, balances and hand eye coordination – all things that can impact your performance in a sport.” Many students have missed their classes due to injuries. Schools shouldn’t want their students to get hurt just because of their lack of sleep.

There are many health issues from not getting enough sleep. According to, “Regular sleep puts you at risk of serious medical conditions, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes – and it shortens your life expectancy.” Students shouldn’t have to have a higher risk of a shorter life just because school starts too early for them to get a good amount of rest. They’d have a healthier life if they were allowed to get more sleep.

If schools started later, many teens’ lives would improve.

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Should schools start later?