OPINION: Later school start times help sleep deprived students

By Maddie Durso

Every morning your alarm screams at you to wake up. It’s time to get up ready to go to school. You’re tired and exhausted, yet you still somehow drag yourself to school.

Delaying school start time would greatly benefit Batavia High School students, as well as the staff.

Starting school at a later time would give students more time to sleep. The recommended amount of sleep each teen should receive every night is eight to ten hours according to the National Sleep Foundation. However, a study done showed that only about 15 percent of teenagers actually receive the correct amount.

“Starting school at a later time would benefit me a lot,” said Nick Crankshaw, a freshman at BHS. “I get home very late at night because of sports practices so getting more sleep would be nice.”

Sleep is essential to maintain good health and growth especially in adolescent years. The immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy. If students are not receiving the proper amount of sleep the immune system can respond in harmful ways. Sleep deficiency can lead to this system not being able to fight off ordinary infections.

Starting school later also would lead to better academic performances from students. Teens getting more sleep directly correlates to higher est scores and overall grades in the classroom.  

Finely Edwards, a Colby College economist, conducted a study to figure out the effects later start times had on grades. He found that math and reading test scores jumped by about three percentile points after delaying the school start time by one hour. Tired students cannot learn to their full potential due to lack of sleep. Sleep deprivation weakens the brain’s ability to learn, comprehend, and memorize things that are

Another benefit that pushing back school start times includes fewer absences in the classroom. A clear relationship can be seen between the two.  More research was done to support this claim at a high school in Bonneville County, Idaho. Absences dropped by approximately 15 percent in this study. Some reasoning for this includes the fact that students are sleeping through their alarms or just having no motivation to go to school due to the lack of sleep.

Some might argue that starting school later would lead to getting out later, which would cut into extracurriculars and homework time. This would have to happen due to the fact that the hours a student must spend in school cannot be cut. However, if you are tired from the school day tasks ,such as homework assignments, will not get done as efficiently or quickly as they would if you got the proper amount of sleep. Also, studies show that there is a correlation between the amount of sleep a student-athlete receives and the chances of an injury occurring.

“What we found is that the two most important factors [in finding the likelihood of getting an injury] were hours of sleep and grade in school,” said Dr. Matthew Milewski after conducting the study.

Making the change of starting school at a later time would greatly benefit the number of sleep-deprived students at Batavia High School.

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