Let Us Sleep! By Gabriella Gatien


Victoria Sordi, Editor

      All around you, you see adolescents who look exhausted and stressed. Many times the main cause to this has to do with waking up early in the morning for school. If you ask these adolescents the start time of their school, I am sure they will have much to say about how early it is and how tired it makes them throughout the day. Average high schools have a start time of around 7:30am. Many high school students do not agree with this. As a high school senior myself, I can agree that waking up that early for school is a struggle. Most high school students have extracurricular activities like sports and work that they attend after school until very late, and then they may also have homework to do after these activities. This makes them stay up late, which makes it hard for them to wake up again to attend school at 7:30am. Almost every single night I either have work until 9:00 pm or soccer at Hofstra University until 9:00 or even sometimes 10:00 pm, which makes me get home at around 10:30pm. Every day in school there are kids falling asleep during class. Doesn’t this show a prime example of school being too early and it negatively affecting kids? Waking up to attend school this early is only affecting us poorly. We see studies of how test averages are lower and stress levels are higher; this is because kids aren’t getting enough sleep; they doze off in class; don’t pay attention to the lesson,  and when test day comes, they don’t know anything. It was mentioned that “Changes in school start time have a significant effect in the amount of sleep and reported grade point average of students,” in April 2021 at a session of the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. So studies have proven that more sleep results in better scores. 477 Student Bad Grade Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from Dreamstime

      School starting too early and kids getting less sleep also affects extracurricular activities. Students may not perform as well in their activities if they are tired, which may cause them to make more mistakes. If school were to start an hour later, I believe this would benefit many students. They would have more time to sleep; they wouldn’t be tired in school; they would pay attention more, and they would perform better. It is a proven fact that teens need at least 8 hours of sleep each night; many students are only getting around 6 hours of sleep, maybe even less with all they have to do. 11,875 Sleeping In Class Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

      Schools should start later; it will only benefit the students; even the staff will be able to sleep more and it will benefit them as well. Schools starting so early is only affecting students’ health in a negative way. Not getting enough sleep as an adolescent could have negative health effects and lack of sleep is known to cause an increase in stress and anxiety as well. Adolescents’ brains do not develop properly if they don’t get enough sleep and their bodies get run down, which can make them more prone to illnesses. 

      Again, it only makes sense for schools to push the start time to at least an hour later. The benefits cannot be argued: more sleep equals healthier bodies and brains, more energy in school, participating more to learn, more engagement, more time and energy in extracurricular activities, time for homework, and all this without being tired and miserable from waking up too early. I really think students would enjoy school more if the start time were later.

By: Gabriella Gatien