School Starting Too Late?

It’s 6am. The loud tone of your alarm slowly enters your ears before you wake up. Your eyes don’t seem to want to open, however the alarm keeps playing until you’re forced to get up and shut it off.

Now that you’re up, all you want to do it go back to sleep, but you have to get ready for school. Throughout the day you’re tired and feel interested in doing very much or focusing on learning. That is an average school day for a large handful of teens, but does it have to be that way? School’s should start later to increase benefits in learning and attitude. Schools should start later because teenagers are often busy and active late into the evening. Teenagers need at least nine hours of sleep to function properly throughout the day . However, in an average middle or high school, students tend to get less than seven hours a night .

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Should we blame this on what time they go to bed? Or should we be looking into a deeper matter…school start times? Let’s take a closer look at an average teen’s typical, school-day afternoon. Most teens get out of school at around 2:30 or 3:00 p.m.

In an average middle school, 78% of teens have activities after school . These activities typically last until dinner-time. After accounting for dinner and an average of 25-30 minutes of homework per subject, with six subjects, a total of three hours must be added to a student’s evening. In all fairness, homework actually might take two to three hours. Still, that brings bed-time to a fairly late hour. And, according to, students are most ready for sleep a little later, anyway.

So, this seems fair. However, if a ten o’clock bedtime becomes the standard, accounting for nine hours of sleep brings a reasonable wake-up call at 7:00 a.m. Currently, busses pick up students for a 7:30 start time between 6:40 and 7:10 a.m. Does that still sound reasonable? School’s starting before the sun rises causes tiredness and lack of energy throughout the day.

When a collection of data took place at a handful of schools around the US, they discovered that schools who started before the sun rised had a lack of energy in children. However schools that started after or during the sunrise had more energy in students and a higher academic score. Also teenagers have a different sleep schedule than children and adults. As children start growing their body starts releasing melatonin later into the evening. In a study done by the National Sleep Foundation it shows that a good handful of teenagers can’t fall asleep until 11, even when they’re lying in bed for a while. I’m not sure about you but the idea that teenagers don’t go to bed until 11, then have to wake up when it’s still dark out, just sounds like a bad combination leading to a tired, unenergetic day.

Over time, the lack of sleep leads to serious consequences for academic learning and grades. When students can’t apply themselves 100% it is going to put a major damage on learning. If your grades aren’t good it could resort in being held back or having to redo work. Also in the long run not exceeding in school can lead to limited colleges choices. If you don’t get into a good college or don’t even go it will affect the rest of your life negatively.

However most teenagers don’t go to bed at a healthy hour. Theres a good chance part of the tiredness is from staying up late. In average schools, teenagers tend to get less than 7 hours a night when the healthy amount is 9 hours.Even though there’s a good chance some teens choose to stay up late, maybe to stay on there phone or watch tv. There could definitely be a change in a lot of decisions they make toward bedtime.

It’s 7a.m, the sunlight slithers through the windows as your alarm wakes you up. Even though you’re woken from sleep you soon feel more awake than you ever have getting up. The sun shining through your window brightens your room as you get ready for school. During school, you feel a lot more connected to learning and energetic.

Your grades start to get better, and you feel happier. This could be an average school day. Bibliography: “Pediatricians Say School Should Start Later For Teens’ Health.” NPR.

NPR, n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2015. http://www. “Stop Starting School Days so Early, Doctors Say.” CBSNews. CBS Interactive, n.d.

Web. 11 Feb. 2015. “Teens and Sleep.” Sleep for Teenagers.

N.p., n.d. Web.

11 Feb. 2015.