Pro/Con: Should schools have later start times?


     Everyday, no matter the class, there are students who are tired and have a hard time focusing in class . Whether it’s a person falling asleep at their desk or accidently dozing off in the middle of a lesson, students are exhausted. Later start times can help students become more productive with the extra time to sleep. 

     The Child Mind Institute online says that 70% of teenagers don’t get enough sleep, and starting school so early worsens the sleep deprivation. Teenagers are preached the importance of getting 8-10 hours of sleep, but with the combination of schoolwork, extracurriculars, and having to get up early, it’s hard to accomplish. One more hour of rest could help students get through the day without feeling exhausted during classes.

     There are more benefits than just getting through the day more alert and ready to learn. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has proven there is a connection between lack of sleep and underachievement in school. Pushing back start times allows students to be able to perform to the best of their abilities without sleep-deprivation as an impediment.. 

     The mental well being of students will also improve for those who begin to get enough sleep, as their sleep cycles will not be cut short or interrupted. A full sleep cycle allows our minds to rest and develop.  

     This is just another reason why starting the day later will improve conditions for students. More sleep means less reliance on caffeine to stay awake which improves mental and physical health. 

     Reducing caffeine then increases the chances of having an uninterrupted sleep. The Sleep Foundations says, “Caffeine consumption can make you fall asleep later, sleep less hours overall, and make your sleep feel less satisfying.” All this shows is how relying on caffeine negatively affects the body and a person’s sleep in the long run. 

     Instead of caffeine, students could actually have time to eat a nutritious breakfast to start the day. According to John Hopkins Medicine, that first meal also allows students to concentrate which is just another added perk. 

     To me, this all seems like good reasons for pushing back school time as it benefits the student body. The pros of this situation easily outweigh the few cons. Lack of sleep has been an issue forever, but delayed starts are  a perfect solution.



     One of the most commonly heard complaints in the halls of South is that our school starts too early. While many complain about this, I believe that a later start time would disrupt the schedules of students, teachers and parents.. 

     On the other hand, waking up early has a correlation with higher productivity rates. According to a 1997 study done by researcher Joseph Ferrari from DePaul University, people who consider themselves a night person are more likely to be procrastinators. Waking up early can allow people to become more productive, which is a very useful quality to have, especially in high school.

     Waking up early allows for more time in the day to finish your tasks. An earlier school start time, would allow students to be able to get more work done at the end of the school day. It would also allow students to have more time to do things outside of  school, and spend more time on leisure. 

     Aside from well-being, delayed school starting times can disorganize morning routines for parents because many of them have schedules that cannot be changed. Parents usually leave for work around the same time that their children need to reach school. 

     Parents’ would have to find a new way to coordinate their schedule with their children’s. School buses’ arrival time would be delayed significantly as main roads that lead to school can be packed with vehicles of people that start work at a later time.

     A change in school start time could change the schedule of the students, teachers, and parents, which would change many people’s sleep schedules. This could cause them to stay up later, with the belief that they could ‘sleep in’ till a later time. According to the American Thoracic Society, the amount of sleep that you get can affect your work performance and reaction times.

     Although starting school at a later time can be beneficial, the practicality of the situation will affect everyone’s schedules drastically. People would have to compromise important events and readjust their schedules to match the new school start time, which wouldn’t be pragmatic in people’s active and occupied lives.