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School start time: Why teens need more sleep


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How many hours of sleep do you get a night?  You are probably part of the 85% of teens that get fewer than eight and a half hours on an average school night. Most high schoolers don’t even have a regular sleep schedule.

Between extracurriculars, sports, and homework, students have many causes to stay up late. With early morning meetings, workouts, and the necessity of preparing for the day ahead, many teens also have to wake up long before the start of school. They do not get enough rest to let them perform at their maximum mentally and physically.

What can we do to let students be the best they can in school and be healthy? Research has shown that if a high school starts even at eight thirty it can improve performance in the classroom. If students get even one more hour of rest a night it can drastically help to improve their mental and physical health.

Teenagers need between eight to ten hours a sleep per night to be their best. Naturally teen have a sleep pattern to fall asleep eleven and wake up around nine with their hormones. Yet most high schools start between seven and eight forcing students to wake up between six and seven. Then they could have extracurriculars going late and sports forcing them to not start homework until after nine pm.

On the downside to this late start would be after school activity. Many already start right after school and go late meaning they would go later. If this were to happen students may have less time to complete their assignments and leave little time to relax and have downtime.

Most students need these activities like sports to earn scholarships or just exercise. But their time may need to be cut back to accommodate these other needs.

A problem that could occur would be the bus schedules. The route they currently follow drops off high school and middle school then goes to pick up the elementary. If the Higher education start time and lower would switch they route could just get inverted. It would be the same length and time block as it currently is. Many studies have shown that it would be better if the elementarys started before high school because of the students natural clocks. Most younger children naturally get up earlier and this would also benefit parents that at the moment have to find before school care. Most students in high grades could be independent in the morning.

With the changing of both start times there would be an abundance of benefits. Don’t we want only what’s best for the district? To improve our current scholastic status we could give our bodies enough sleep to function. We can give students the keys to success.

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The student news site of Bowling Green High School
School start time: Why teens need more sleep