Why Schools Should Start Later Essay: Sample Paper

It has become a common feature of the modern-day society, caffeine-laced teens stumbling through the day sleepy-eyed. Teens find it hard to stay awake and alert throughout the average school day. This is made worse by the fact that most teens assume that they need to function on as little sleep as possible. The very idea that less sleep equals greater efficiency shows a fundamental misunderstanding we have concerning sleep.

Despite our more is less approach to sleep, sleep is an absolute necessity for healthy living. Adequate sleep, which is around 9¼ hour, for teens is as much a biological necessity as food and water. In spite of this fact, research has shown that teens are simply not getting as much sleep as they need to daily. This is a problem that society needs to address collectively. It's also a problem that is multifaceted.

One of the issues we must address in a bid to correct this anomaly is the issue of school start times. How much sleep teens get can be regulated by societal factors. For teens, the school start time is a crucial variable. How early schools begin inevitably determine how early teens have to wake up, and therefore how much sleep they get.

The average school start time in the U.S. is 8:00 AM according to Live Science. Assuming a commute of 15 minutes, waking up at 7:00 AM seems okay. This means that to get 9¼ hours of sleep everyday teens have to go to bed by 8:15 PM. This is impossible, after school activities, homework, chores, etc.

The natural circadian rhythm of teens also means that they're unlikely to be feeling sleepy before 11 PM. If an average teen goes to sleep by 11 PM and wakes up by 7:00 AM, this means 8 hours of sleep daily. This is well below the 9¼ hours necessary, and yet this statistic in itself is idealistic. Research by the Nationwide Children's Hospital shows that teens get an average of 7 to 7¼ hours of sleep a day.

The epidemic of inadequate sleep is one that should concern every one of us. Schools are supposed to help teens maximize their potentials. However, if they are just managing to stay awake throughout each day then the aim of the school is defeated. School start times play a very big part in this problem, and adjusting them would have a significant impact. Teens are having to wake up too early to get to school on time.

The average school start time is simply too early to allow teens to get enough sleep. Shifting school start time to at least 9:00 AM would enable teenagers to get enough sleep. Starting schools later would enable teens to get enough sleep and benefit society as a whole.

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