School schould start later to allow teens to get enough sleep


Lauren Karmo, Staff Writer

Getting out of bed early to be on time is a task many students face throughout the year. Often times, students are up late studying or doing extra curricular activities and are ultimately getting consistently less sleep than what they should be. If school started later, then students will get more sleep and function better during the day.

According to the National Sleep foundation, Teenagers need roughly 8-10 hours of sleep to function properly, but only 15 percent of teens receive that much during the school week. If school started later, there would be a greater chance of students receiving the recommended amount of sleep, even if they don’t change what time they go to sleep at night.

When teens do not sleep enough, they experience issues with their learning abilities, finding themselves less focused, decreased problem solving abilities and a greater difficulty with listening. The lack of sleep students are receiving is directly affecting their learning ability, leading to students performing lower than they would if they had more opportunity to sleep.

Also according to the National Sleep Foundation, the time schools starts is in conflict with the natural sleep cycle of the average teen, meaning that students aren’t meant to function as early in the morning as they do. Teenagers shouldn’t have to rely on an outside force to wake them up, but with schools starting so early, the nightly sleep cycle is interrupted and students are not refreshed and ready for the day by the time they arrive at school.

With a later school day, attendance and enrollment improves significantly, with less tardiness and a more awake and alert student body ready to learn.

A major issue with school starting later means it would also end later, leaving less time for extracurricular activities after school. During spring sports alone, the football field is scheduled back to back from three until nine, with each sport receiving a two-hour block. For school to start later, athletics would have to be willing to shorten their practice time or stay at the school later. However, high academic performance has always been the number one goal for RCS, so to improve that, other areas might have to suffer a bit of a change.

For students to improve their academics, school must start later. With more sleep and a later wake up time, students will not be inhibited by their schedule and will not allow their learning to be distracted by their health.