Sleep is a necessity. I think everyone can agree with that. Yet, I seem to lack the adequate amount of sleep for my body due to excessive amounts of homework and the mounds of tests piling up. From sleeping at 1 AM to waking up at 6 AM for school, only gives me five hours of sleep.

On average, a teenager should get 9 to 10 hours of sleep for maximum benefit. Without these, teenagers will feel groggy and tired. They won’t be able to focus well in school. Schools take pride in their students’ accomplishments. So, why do schools refuse to move back their time schedule one more hour? If the school day started at 9, test rates would soar. Tardies would noticeably drop.

Personally, I am not a morning person. I don’t even wake up early in the morning compared to other students. Every day, I wake up at 7, get out of the bed at 7:15, and leave the house at 7:30 for school. However, others wake up at 5 or 6 in the morning because they need more time to prepare in the morning. They’re getting even less sleep than me. Even with the extra hours I have, I feel dull in the morning. In the first hour, I tend to zone out. Talking to my friends wakes me up, but that also leads to less work being accomplished. Then, that leads to my grades dropping. The change of the school start time would not only benefit me but thousands of students all around the world.

Of course, there are cons to starting the school day later. Extracurricular clubs and athletic practices would also be pushed back an hour. Parents would not be able to drop their kids off at school due to the later start time and their own job start time. It would be difficult to find another ride for their child especially if their house isn’t in the way of a bus.

Do the prospects of better grades and increased concentration outweigh the negative effects that could be easily fixed? Bikes are still useful. Carpooling is another option. Kids these days are getting their licenses and cars in their sophomore year. I’m just not sure how easy it would be to change their entire school system across the world. The one now has been in effect for years. It has worked up until now. Is it really worth it to change the system now?

CC BY-SA 4.0 More sleep please by Anna is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

25 Comments
  1. Ariel 6 months ago

    Anna,
    this is incredibly relatable. I think that schools are starting to realize this. In fact, my high school might be implementing a new schedule next year where the juniors (only them) can have a 2nd through 7th hour. We normally only have six hours, so this allows students to come in later and leave and hour later (although the seventh hour can either be American Lit or Chemistry).Although this could be tricky with transport like you said, it’s definitely doable.

  2. Montana 9 months ago

    Hello Anna,
    I think almost every teenager can relate to this. Sleep needs to be a priority in our lives and I believe teachers need to understand that. With us having a heavy load of activites after school, there is no time for homework. What I think will help us with our sleeping schedule is if teachers assign homework in advance so we have time to space the assignment out and understand the subject completely.

  3. Lilly 9 months ago

    Hi Anna, I found your post very interesting to read. Sleep is for sure a necessity and in order to function to the best ability, the more sleep the better. I couldn’t count how many times I have had to stay up super late to work on homework or school work, and the next day I felt so drained and exhausted. I would consider myself to be a morning person but I don’t like waking up early 5 days of the week. I believe some change is needed. I really enjoyed reading your post.

  4. Dariana Lizzet 9 months ago

    I totally agree with you, we are sleeping at 1 and waking up at 6, this is because we have a lot of things to do. We are teenagers and we have to sleep more to work well in school and do the things we have to do, things that we do after school, like sports, and extra classes.I think that is a good idea to go to school one our later so we can sleep more time and be better in school and not feeling sleepy in school . I am grateful that a person thinks the same as me, thanks for sharing.

  5. Katie 9 months ago

    Anna, It’s weird how sleep is so vital to our well-being yet we do not make sleep a priority. It’s just as important as the food we eat, water we drink, and the air we breathe. Not getting enough sleep limits our ability to learn, concentrate and solve problems, which can result in lower test scores and lower grades. I agree that schools need to find a solution to their sleep deprived students, whether that is starting school late, or not assigning loads of homework.

  6. Isabela 9 months ago

    I completely agree with your post. The same happens to me when sleeping at 1 or 2 in the morning and waking up at 6. Then go to school at 7 and be there for 7 hours. Luckily, as you say, I wake up when chatting or playing with my friends, and the movement of one class to another, and working. Also, I live far from school! Yes, I also concur with your idea of having school one hour later, and because we are teens, we should sleep more and have more energy to do well in school. Maybe this idea has its ups and downs, but working out this issue, we can come to a good conclusion for all. I´m glad that you brought up this topic and thanks for sharing.

  7. Miguel 9 months ago

    I completely agree with you and I love your post. It has so much truth to it especially for me since I live so far away from my school. I hardly ever get enough sleep and I feel a lot of these symptoms throughout my day and I dread being at school. And driving back home is also a pain because I need to be alert and not drowsy because then I become a threat to everyone else on the road. Thank you so much for writing about this and bringing it to the spotlight.

  8. Jack 9 months ago

    Anna, I hate to be a burden but I disagree with you. School is a prep course for life, would you agree? So if most of the country leaves their house for work between 7:00 and 7:30 a.m. (http://overflow.solutions/demographic-data/what-time-does-the-average-american-leave-for-work/), why shouldn’t school be the same time? After all, school is preparing us for everyday life, so why not prepare us to wake up earlier? Starting school late leads to other problems as well. For example, students who rely on their parents to drive them to school could be without rides if mom and dad need to be at work by 8:00. Also, pushing the start of school back just moves everything back a couple hours. Who is to say that because school starts later, students will go to sleep later? I know I would. Therefore, students don’t catch up on sleep at all. The real solution, I believe, is to decrease levels of homework. Whenever I get to bed real late, it is because I have to stay up and finish pointless busy work. My thinking has always been for teachers to teach us at school, and not rely on textbooks and worksheets to do the work for them. I want to go school to learn and work; I don’t want to go to school for teachers to tell me what I need to learn by myself at home.

  9. Kathleen 9 months ago

    Anna,
    I can completely agree with your post. Sleep deprivation is something that takes over and causes much stress, something I have been dealing with for years. Juggling schoolwork and sports is a mess, but just getting one extra hour of sleep could really change everything. Starting school later can really change things just as moods, grades, and life all around! This is very well written.

  10. Savannah 9 months ago

    Hi Anna! I completely agree with the fact that we need much more sleep than we have the time for. With all of our priorities and responsibilities that we have to constantly stay on top of, it’s hard to make enough time to unwind and relax. The lack of sleep that we teenagers get can hinder our ability to perform to our potential in school and in activities. I hope we can find more people to care about this issue and make a change.

  11. Jackson 9 months ago

    Anna, I have always wondered why we don’t push school back 30 minutes to an hour. This would give people a chance to wake in the morning without being rushed and causing stress that could already ruin your day. I feel as most people are late to school by 5-10 minutes because they don’t feel they have enough time to get ready and get the most amount of time possible to sleep.

  12. Giselle 9 months ago

    Hi Anna,
    I agree that teenagers lack sleep, and later starting times would possibly give students an hour more of sleep. However I dont think it would outweigh the cons, because if our activities outside of school were pushed back an hour they would extend to later hours in the night. Therefore it would make most stay up later, and interfere with the jobs that cant be pushed back.
    However I think your post does a great job of opening this topic up to discussion, with a list of pros and cons. You should take a look at an article by Stanford Medicine, called “Among teens, sleep deprivation an epidemic” to learn more about the sleep patterns of teens, and what is keeping them up.

  13. Samuel 9 months ago

    Anna,
    I could not agree more, playing 3 sports all my high school career sleeping has not been apart of my schedule. Even when I come home and start my homework right away I am up until 12 even 1 sometimes. Sometimes I wonder how tall I would be if I was able to at least average 7-8 hours of sleep rather than 5-6. Not only that I also wonder how much better my grades would be. Going to school an hour later seems like the best idea, not only will it give us more time in the day but help those who struggle to stay awake in some classes. I know there are some classes where I cannot control me dozing off no matter how much I fight it.

  14. Anna 9 months ago

    Hi Anna! I couldn’t agree with you more. I wake up around the same time as you do and I have the same problems. Mornings are hard and going to school so early is difficult. I fall asleep in most of my morning classes and it’s very hard to concentrate. Not only do I not get enough sleep, but I also don’t eat breakfast becauseI try to get in as much sleep as possible and by doing that, I don’t wake up early enough to get in the so-called “most important meal of the day”. I hope that they make the school day start later in the future.

  15. Mary 9 months ago

    Anna,
    I completely agree with your opinions about not getting enough sleep. I am always rushing into class just before the bell with a large thermos of coffee in hand to compensate for the meager four to six hours of sleep I get on average. This is extremely unhealthy, and I know that many of my classmates are in the same boat as I. Lack of sleep leads not only to lower performance in school, but it also contributes to stress and the deterioration of mental health. Another large risk is that of students falling asleep while driving home after school. You’re spot on with your concerns about a later start time for school. Perhaps a solution would be later start times one day a week, or even better, a homework limit. I take eight classes, and am expected to do eight classes worth of homework three nights a week. If each teacher assigns an hour of homework, that’s eight hours per night, which is physically impossible. If schools adjusted their homework policy, making classes less dependent on outside work, students would learn more, and improve their mental and physical health. I think your post is important; not enough people acknowledge how difficult school can be for students.

  16. Sarah 9 months ago

    I think this article is great because it really speaks to every single teenager running on 4-7 hours of sleep due to extracurriculars, testing, and homework. It looks like you have mapped out the pros and the cons really well but I might just add that maybe teachers shouldn’t be giving as much homework because then we would be getting more sleep, no matter what time school started. I think sleep vs education is a very real issue and unfortunately, I feel as if the teenagers are the only ones noticing this issue and wanting to make a change. Great article overall and I really resonate with it.

  17. Vicky 9 months ago

    Anna,
    I agree with you. Personally for me I lack sleep. With everything going on for me at school with grades and college applications, its hard to find a time for sleep. I think if schools pushed the time from being there at 8 to being there at 9 would be helpful. I totally agree with everything you said and hopefully the school can work it out or something.

  18. Grace 9 months ago

    Anna,

    This post is incredibly relatable. As highschoolers, we are often sleep-deprived and see the effects that come from this sleep deprivation. I think the suggestion to start school later is an excellent idea. As with all changes to society, I think we would be able to adapt and adjust to the new system regarding drop-off. In the end, I think we would see more benefits than consequences to this change. Thank you for addressing this issue!

  19. Grace 9 months ago

    Anna-
    I really enjoyed reading your article and found your topic very interesting. I completely agree with you!! I think that just by pushing school back one hour later would make a significant difference. I’m not just saying this because I’m not a morning person but I do think it would help the performance level of everyone at school if we all had one extra hour to sleep. As teens we need a good nights rest to energize us for the upcoming day, and 5 or 6 hours just isn’t enough to perform well. I do see that this would affect extracurricular activities and clubs but I think it would be worth it in the long run. Great article and topic!!

  20. Ellie 9 months ago

    Anna,
    While I do think the idea of school starting an hour later is very appealing, I’m afraid it might not change as much as one might think. Even if school started an hour later, there would still be the same amount of homework to do, and kids would still be forced to stay up later to get all of their work done, and would instead have to go to bed an hour later because their whole schedule would be pushed back an hour. I think another solution that should be looked into is having a block schedule, where you have 4 classes each day instead of 8. I think this would give students an extra day for homework and studying, instead of having a single day to complete them. Plus, this better prepares students for college where you have less classes, but classes that are longer.

    • Jean-Jules 9 months ago

      I do agree with your idea of block periods every day Ellie, because I have seen the good that it does. My cousin from California has this schedule at her school and has done very good on homework and tests, while also having good amounts of sleep because of her schedule.

  21. Mae 9 months ago

    Anna, I really enjoyed your article. I have a similar schedule to you in that I sleep in relatively late because I live so close to my school. However, I know some kids who get up as early as 5:30 in order to get to school on time. I do think a later start time would be extremely beneficial. Although it might be difficult for parents, many schools do have buses that go through any areas of town, and as you mentioned carpooling works as well. Since an adult’s job starts at 9, and most morning college classes start around that same time, it seems silly that at a time in our life we need the most sleep, we are forced to wake up the earliest. I think you bring up some interesting points for both sides, and it was well written!

  22. Mayree 9 months ago

    Anna, I think your on to something. Being senior in high school I have juggled sports, school, and homework for years. Sleep deprivation has become a second job for me. In some cases it has been because poor time management but in other cases teachers do tend to pile on homework failing to realize their class is not the only class we take. I completely think this is something that should be taken into account. Iam all for change, but change needs to be implemented slowly and people might catch on sooner than later.

  23. Ellisandra 9 months ago

    Hi Anna! I could not agree with you more. I quickly get ready in the morning similar to you but a lot of my friends are forced to wake up much earlier than me because they have 30 minutes-an hour commute to school. My doctor always tells me I need to get more sleep and I think we can all agree that it’s out of our control. The thing that a lot of kids run into is that they don’t just get to go home and do homework. A lot of kids have sports, clubs, and work. You also bring up a good point about how it is harder for the parents who work and have to drive their kids to school. Although I think our development and our health definitely outweighs the fact that parents have to go to work earlier than school would start. I’m sure their is a way to help with this struggle, maybe buses. Thanks for sharing!

  24. Ben 9 months ago

    Anna, I agree with your idea of starting school later. Like you said, there are many benefits to doing so and I think it would be a good change for all. Though maybe to see how well it works there could be a pilot program for a few schools to try it. I agree that it would do many people well as I often go to bed later but sometimes really early as well. I live far from my school and driving while drowsy is very perilous to me and other drivers. A later start time would mean that I would get more sleep and be more aware during the drive to school. I think this idea definitely has it’s ups and downs but working out the problems, it may come to be a thing that school consider doing eventually.

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