Starting School at a Later Time

The Possibilities of Having a Later School Time

Savannah Godinez, Editor In Chief

A huge issue that has become a controversy throughout teenagers in high school is the amount of inadequate sleep that young adults seem to get nowadays. In the society that we live in today some bigger factors that take place in a teens life consist of mental health, obesity, school attendance, and in some cases educational achievement. These areas are being majorly affected in teen lives today because of the many stressful things that they take on in highschool like advanced classes, athletics, extracurriculars, and after school activities.

On average a teenager should be getting around eight and half to nine hours of sleep a night. That can be quite difficult when school starts at 7:30 AM and teens can get to sleep at times as late as 10:00 PM due to athletics or even from just being home and doing homework. If high schools changed their start times to even as little as 30 minutes later, it is said that not only would teens greatly benefit from it but also the economy.

Corrine Lederhouse, a communications coordinator at American Academy of Sleep Medicine, states the logistics of how much the U.S. could benefit from these later times, “The 20-year projection shows an annual gain of about $9.3 billion each year to the U.S. economy”.

According to the Sleep Foundation, research has proven the theory that getting enough sleep has become a biological necessity to our health, just as eating healthy and exercising are. Of course a huge root to this problem in teens not getting the right amount of sleep, is there bad sleeping habits. Early school start times do play a large part in the later sleep-wake clock that teens are very accustomed to at this age. The results of sleep deprivation in a teen are actually very serious and have a chance of improvement if schools were to change their start times to a bit later. A benefit from this later start time would actually be proven in the economic sense of the U.S. On the website,, Lederhouse actually speaks about how the economy will benefit from later school start times.

There are actually plenty of benefits coming from the theory of later start times in high school. There would be a reducement in health risks, sleep requirements would be met more often, academic performance could be improved, and there would be less of a reliance on caffeine.

According to Very Well Family, the American Academy of Pediatrics concluded that, “poor sleep is linked to increased reliance on caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol”.

At this point it may seem as though the only solution for teens to reduce these issues is by having them simply get enough sleep. This can actually be quite impossible for all teens for very many reasons. Teens experience a wide amount of hormonal shifts that make falling asleep more difficult for them. Their biological clocks simply won’t allow them to fall asleep at times as early as 8 PM, even when they may want to.

From speaking to just a few students and staff of OHHS on this topic the replies to having later school start times have actually been very different. Some students obviously take into account that school make actually have to end later and that is a huge game changer, when it comes down to actually thinking about going into school at a later time.

“We would have to get used to the new school schedules and it would not really help us, what if you have sports and afterschool activities then you would have to be home later and they won’t have time to do their homework, it may benefit our health but not our academics,” Anahi Aguirre, junior at OHHS, comments on the theory of later school start times.

As for the staff one thing that came to mind was their student athletes and how it would not benefit them, considering that they would actually have to miss more school during the playing season.

“I personally do not think it is a better idea. I think of it from an athletes point of view and they already have to miss two periods of class for games, if we start later then they would have to miss more class now that the times are set back,” Jeffrey Gunnerson, teacher at OHHS, comments on whether or not later start times would actually benefit students.

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