More Sleep, Fewer Problems?
More Sleep, Fewer Problems?
Gracie Summers
Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Could letting teenagers sleep later in the morning do more than just make them happy? New evidence suggests that a later start to the school day could have all sorts of benefits, like better grades and fewer car crashes. But some worry that pushing the school day back might get in the way of after-school sports and jobs, and wouldn’t leave students enough time to finish homework. If school started at 9:00 am, I think it would let the teens do what they need to before school and then arrive to school. I think it would also help with a lot of people being late to school every single day. It would help for us to feel more alive when we come to school, and we might even remember our first hour class.

Research states that delaying the start of the school day can reduce automobile accidents caused by sleepy teen drivers. In one 2008 study, crash rates fell by 16.5% in the two years after a school district shifted its start times an hour later, compared to the two years before. School districts have begun to take note, and some have delayed their start times. (Seattle Public Schools started a new delayed-start schedule in September.) It’s not always an easy switch however, schools must sometimes rejigger bus schedules, after-school activities and sports programs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that, “This change provides an opportunity for healthy sleep for teenage students, but it’s up to the student and their families to take advantage of it, If the system can make these accommodations and set a good example, maybe it will stimulate an internal dialogue for these students about the importance of sleep, and really help them make these other changes as well.

I think it is a great idea to start school at least an hour earlier. Some kids have to pull all- nighters a lot, and if school started at least one hour later, they would have enough time to get a least one hour of sleep. Some might reject this if it happens that we push the start of school to one hour later, but for the ones that want it I believe that they would not do so. I believe it would be a great privilege if the hours of school were to change.  - Gracie Summers