Many high school students struggle with getting up on time for school. With school starting at 7:45, getting adequate sleep is difficult. If it started later in the day, wouldn’t life be so much easier?

    Scientists say teenagers are wired to stay up late and sleep in, so it should be more effective to start later in the day. Studies also show that school shouldn’t start any earlier than 8:30 in the morning since earlier times prevent students from getting enough rest. This could affect the students’ health, wellbeing, and academic success.

     It’s common that teens stay up playing video games, hanging out with friends, doing extracurriculars or working, but why aren’t they bothered by staying up? As kids approach puberty, their brains start producing the hormone melatonin, the ‘sleep hormone’, on a later schedule, making teenagers tired at around 11pm. A teen that sleeps around 11pm should be waking up at around 7:30 in the morning to obtain the optimal amount of sleep.

     Changing up the school schedule might seem easy, but it may not be as simple as that. When states or school districts change their schedules, buses, clubs, and sports programs need to be rescheduled along with the school in order to have the system running smoothly.

     Also, parents argue that it would interfere with work schedules. Another study says that changing school times would shift the internal clocks in our bodies, and in a matter of weeks, we would find it just as hard to get out of bed.

    We talked to a student and teacher about school times:

    “I think that it should start 1-2 hours later. People are generally not productive in the mornings, and I’m really not productive right now because of a lack of sleep. Rather than thinking about what I need to be doing in class, I’ve been sleeping,” says Jonny Kolb (20’).      

With some conflicting views, Mrs. Fotu, who teaches Psychology and Sociology, states, “The school schedule is very ideal for me because I’m not an adolescent with a growing and developing brain, and it matches my sleep schedule. It lets me finish work earlier and make food for myself at home.” Regarding the students she says, “I disagree with the system because of the research that backs it up concerning the amount of sleep that the teenagers get. When some school districts conducted an experiment testing school starting at a later time, less car accidents were reported and test scores improved.”

    She also practices some mindfulness exercises with her students to increase productivity. She explains, “For ten minutes each class period we do a breathing and visualization exercise. In this era of mental disabilities, anxiety, and depression, it gets kids in tune with their inner psyche and lets them forget about the stresses that come with being a teenager. It’s shown to help not just teenagers, but also adults. I mean, Will Smith does it so…”

    To sum this up, based on studies and opinions, school should start later in the day. Not only will it help students be more refreshed and ready for the day, it will also help the faculty have fewer rowdy, tired teenagers attempting to learn.