High School Should Change Start Times

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Due to the Corona Virus, classes for Ladue high school students have been starting online at 10 a.m. Many students, including myself, have been able to get extra sleep and finish additional work before school starts. But what about when we are back in person? Is school starting before 8 a.m. good for student’s mental and physical health along with their academic performance? 

 

With schools starting so early, students’ mental and physical health along with their academic performance is damaged. Nearly half (46%) of U.S. high schools begin classes before 8 a.m. However, with teenagers going to sleep at an average time from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m (Alaska Sleep Clinic), It can be hard to get the 8 hours of sleep necessary for proper body functioning. Lack of sleep can cause a weakened immune system, increase your chance of developing heart disease and cancer. It can also cause you to gain weight and make you more prone to diabetes.  Along with these physical impacts to health, not getting enough sleep can cause cognition issues and forgetfulness. This can make it harder for students to focus in school and lock in new information. Many studies also show that later start times correlate with better grades and performance on tests along with better discipline among students. Later start times can also make life safer, especially in the winter as tired drivers would not be on icy roads. 

 

Some might say that later start times would cause students to leave school later as well and waste their time after school. However, even taking 5 minutes away from each class would allow school to start almost 35 minutes later already. School ending an hour later should not affect students as they can use the extra time they have in the morning to do any additional work. 

 

Ladue high school should start later once we are back in person. This can be achieved by taking 5 minutes from each class and ending school an hour later. By doing this, schools can help improve students mental and physical health along with their academic performance.