Should High School Be Later?

For those of us without the blessings of private transportation (ie. car), school can be very tiresome. Most students I know get roughly four to six hours of sleep a night. To make it on time on the public transportation system’s schedule (ie. bus) makes students, who don’t – and most likely can’t – sleep, fatigued. It is arguably unhealthy, when we are at a prime age as teenagers to require between eight and nine hours of sleep per night. So the question arises: should high school start later?

We're all just trying to catch more Zs. (photo by Smath)

We’re all just trying to catch more Zs. (photo by Smath)

The people who choose these things (I am not exactly sure who they are) are obviously people who are not in school and have forgotten what it is like to be.¬†Yes, it is proven that we, at this age, need more sleep than even adults or children. Elementary school typically starts an hour later than high school and gets out an hour earlier. Middle school typically starts two hours later than high school, but gets out an hour after high school. However, I am willing to bet that a majority of students would be alright with staying at school an hour later just to get more sleep – based on my experience and my peer’s experiences. Even just thirty minutes more sleep can make all of the difference for students.

The prospect of starting school an hour later would allow us to be more focused, more awake, and more able to comprehend material. Sixty percent of the people who responded to this forum post, School Should Be A Bit Later On In The Morning So You Are Not Tired…, agreed. Serendip Studio backs up the argument in this post, when they state that when we are deprived of essential amounts of sleep, our brains are affected in horrific ways. To quote the article, “Sleep deprived people do not have the speed or creative abilities to cope with making quick but logical decisions, nor do they have the ability to implement them well.”

For example, if you have ever been in a classroom or an auditorium for a lecture, and you can hear what the teacher is saying, but nothing is computing well, you probably are sleep deprived. This has happened to me way too often, and the health effects of losing sleep make me fear that when I am an adult, I will have trouble sleeping as well. Four years of needing more sleep, sleep that you can’t make up, has to take a toll on our bodies.

Alas there is nothing I, as a student, can do. With all of the things that life has to offer that you must somehow try to balance (ie. family, work, relationships, responsibilities, and school) it is unlikely that I will ever sleep at a time early enough that I won’t be dead for school. In our fast paced society, where it seems there’s double the amount of work and half the amount of time, we will be a restless generation.

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