Why School Should Start Later

We have all experienced it before, as we lay sound asleep in a cloud like bed filled with wonderful dreams. Then, suddenly, the irritating dreadful sound of the alarm interrupts the peaceful sleep and brings one to the unfortunate reality, it is time to get up for school. It is of no surprise that it is an extreme burden to wake up at 6 am every day. Especially for sleep deprived high school students, it is in fact, almost impossible. However, there is also biological evidence to support precisely why the timing of the educational system is indeed incorrect and should be altered.

As was shown through various studies, sleep patterns are affected by age and correspondingly, hormones. While one goes through puberty, the sleeping schedule is altered and usually results in later bedtimes and resultantly, later waking up time. It is not just due to the fact that teenagers tend to procrastinate more, but rather the hormonal balance in one’s body during that time period. Furthermore, as age progresses, the sleeping schedule gradually shifts back to the way it was prior to puberty. It is usually shifted 1-2 hours earlier. Conclusively, for teenagers, waking up everyday at 6 am would be the same amount of effort required for an adult to wake up at 4 am everyday.

Moreover, teenagers are usually sleep late and are not under the stress of a bedtime as they were when they were kids. Additionally, these days, there are several distractions, such as tv shows and social media. A study shows that students are expected to receive at least eight hours of sleep daily to maintain proper health and alertness. However, teenagers nowadays barely get five hours of sleep due to the early school times. Therefore, their academic standards can be negatively affected and they won’t pay attention in class.

By Jumana Mohamed