School Should Start Later so Teens Can Get More Sleep?

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Jordan Esposito

According to the National Sleep Foundation, “Teens need about 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night to function best. Most teens do not get enough sleep โ€” one study found that only 15% reported sleeping 8 1/2 hours on school nights.” Do school, electronics, jobs, and other activities impede on the ability for teens to get adequate sleep?

School could definitely be a contributing factor to lack of sleep in teenagers. The average school start time, according to the Centers for Disease Control, in the US is 8:03 AM. The National Sleep Foundation states, “Biological sleep patterns shift toward later times for both sleeping and waking during adolescence — meaning it is natural to not be able to fall asleep before 11:00 pm.”

Since Lakewood High’s school day starts at 8:00 AM, assuming that students get up at around 7 AM to get to school on time and if they went to bed at 11 PM, that is only 8 hours of sleep. Yet, as previously stated, teens need more like 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night.

The National Sleep Foundation also cites a study in which children were told to go to bed later than normal for one week. Then, the children were told to spend 10 or more hours in bed the next week. The results of this study concluded that during the week of later bedtimes, the teen’s teachers rated the students as having poor academic achievement and more attention problems.

I think that school should start later so that students can get more sleep. Even if the school day started at 9 and ended at 4, students would get about one more hour of sleep. This one more hour would be in between the recommended 8 to 10 hours of sleep for teens.

When asked about if an extra hour of sleep would benefit her academic performance and her overall outlook on school, Lakewood High School Junior, Alexandria Solomon, said, “Yes, I need more sleep to function.”