Students’ lives suffer due to early school start times 

Students’ lives suffer due to early school start times 

Cole Rook, Contributor

A set arrival time of 8:05 a.m. five days a week isn’t easy for most people, especially exhausted high school students. Many students feel as though this early of a start time is too difficult to meet 4 days a week, even with the added benefit of Laker Time every Wednesday.

The current school start times negatively impact students’ school work and mental health. Many high school students around the country demonstrate signs of exhaustion due to an average school start time around 8:00 a.m.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) cites the lack of sleep in adolescents as a “public health issue.” This issue is exacerbated by the early start times, decreasing the amount of sleep possible for teens.

In contrast to younger kids, teenagers are wired to stay up later, so an earlier start time only contributes to this sleep epidemic in teens.

An average of 8-10 hours is needed for teens to feel refreshed, but 70% of high school students fall short of this goal, according Eric Suni, staff writer of the Sleep Foundation. This foundation focuses on sleep care for people suffering from bad sleep habits.

The lack of students meeting this goal is shocking, considering how much of an effect it has on their daily lives.

Students’ physical health takes a nose dive when they are forced to wake up earlier. Grogginess, headaches, and dulled response time are all symptoms of poor sleep according to the AAP.

Due to the lack of sleep, most teens will turn to caffeine to aid them through the day.

Not only are the health benefits of caffeinated drinks few and far between, they also increase bad sleep habits and stress, thus repeating the cycle of poor rest.

Another negative factor of early start times is a decrease in mental health. Students can become easily irritated or stressed, which affects their performance in school.  

Although some students may abuse a later start time in favor of games or friends, the majority will take advantage of it. Given the opportunity, studies conclude that many students will modify their sleep schedules to allow more time for rest.

This is an issue that many students care about, but it does not get the attention it deserves. 

Having a later start time would remedy the majority of these problems, as more sleep directly correlates to an increase in function for students. Students are not built to wake up so early, so allowing them more time to sleep is essential for performance levels.