Don’t Sleep on Reasons High Schools Should Start Later


Jew'lea Israel, Staff Writer

Everyone always says high school is where your learning matters the most. However, when students are struggling to pick up their heads during class, they are not in the ideal condition to learn. It feels impossible to wake up from a dream induced state most mornings, and coming in late seems better than a sleepy perfect attendance. High schools, specifically Norristown Area High School, should open their doors later to prevent closed minds.

The 2014 School Health Policies and Practices Study, 93% of high schools in the U.S. started before 8:30 am, but starting later could not only help the students but the teachers as well, as they could better convey their lessons and not just stay alive due to coffee.

Sleep is a important aspect of human life and of our ability to function. This is most needed when you are in high school, where your grades actually matter. Teens are growing and learning everyday, and you need the sleep to rejuvenature.

According to The National Sleep Foundation, it is a natural biological tendency for teens to stay up late and want to sleep in. It is recommended that they should get at least 8 to 9 hours of sleep. Some students might not be able to get this amount due to sleep disorders, such as insomnia or narcolepsy. Some may even have depression and can struggle to sleep from those symptoms. Pushing the start of school to a later time could help give these students a chance to make up for lost time.

This lack of sleep greatly affects your academic performance. If you did not have a good night’s sleep, you are more likely to not do your best in school and use that as an opportunity to sleep in class. How can you focus and do your best in high school, a point that really matters because it sets you up for colleges and potentially your life.

According to Inside Highered, students who study and get enough sleep score higher on their tests. Even low performing students are said to perform better when they sleep well. Tests that are really important, like SATs or Keystones require your full attention. Getting bad scores on these tests could put you at risk for not getting into the college of your choice.  If you want to go to college, tests like those matter, and you can’t do that your best if you’re tired.

Lack of sleep can lead you to forgetting things more easily, like names, numbers, homework, due dates, and tests. This is important because you have to retain the knowledge that you learned, and you’re most likely going to be tested on it.

Sleeplessness has side effects that don’t occur at school, but in our daily lives in general, such as traffic accidents. The driver could be so tired from driving students to school that their responses are delayed and they end up in an accident, not only putting in danger themself, but the students on the bus.

Some kids even try to smoke or drink to help them sleep, which overtime turns into an addiction. Although, it has the opposite affect and keeps them awake. This also causes way more problems than just sleep deprivation.

High schools should open later. This could benefit the students and teachers. They would be able to focus more and be more active.  Students could do better on tests and have benefit their future from the sleep.