End Early School Start Times to Save Students
The importance of sleep is utterly disregarded in our country, and students are directly and severely impacted by that disregard. Schools choose school start times based on factors like budgets and transportation costs, rather than focusing on students health, safety, and education. Students’ biological clocks shift as they reach middle school, making it difficult for them to go to sleep before 11 pm. However, schools typically start an hour and a half before the recommended time, making it nearly impossible for students to get the sleep they desperately need.
As a direct result of early school start times, the majority of teens in America are chronically sleep deprived according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, with 59% of middle-school students and 87% of high school students reporting that they do not get the recommended eight and a half hours of sleep per night. This is extremely alarming, considering the effects of sleep deprivation on adolescents. These effects include:
- Students whose schools start earlier in the morning do worse in not only their first period class but in all their classes.
- Students have an increased risk for anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation
- Sleep deprived students have poor impulse control and increased risk taking behaviors
- Students driving abilities are impacted and they are therefore more likely to be in dangerous car accidents.
Therefore, a change needs to be made to our current school system for the sake of students’ health, safety, and education.
For more information on school start times and sleep deprivation:
American Academy of Pediatrics: