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Why Teenagers Need to Start School Half an Hour Later

By: Krystle Crossman

If you have a teenager you know how hard it can be to wake them up in the morning when it is time for school. You may be thinking that they are lazy or trying to delay the inevitable when really it is not their fault. As an adult we need seven to eight hours of sleep to be completely rested. Teenagers however are still growing and need more time at night to recuperate from the day before. They need at least 8.5 to 9.5 full hours of sleep. Their bodies are programed to make them go to sleep later and wake up later. Unfortunately school schedules are not in line with their sleep schedule which can cause them to do poorly in class.

Schools are now realizing that their students may perform better if they start school later so they are pushing their start times back half an hour. While 30 minutes may not seem like that much extra sleep, it can help tremendously. Just that small half hour could benefit them in these ways:

–         They will have less of a risk of depression, car accidents, obesity, erratic behaviors, and absenteeism.

–         More sleep will help them restore their brains and help to restore their metabolism too. This will help them to focus more and learn more while they are in class.

–         Students who get the proper amount of sleep have shown that they are able to do better on homework and tests and they are also in classes more than when they are too tired.

During a study by the Bradley Hasbro Children’s Research Center which is located in Rhode Island they found that just that extra half hour of sleep helped students with better focus, less sleepiness during the day, and a better mood. The school that was involved in the study went back to the normal start time and the teens suffered as a result. There are currently eight states that have adopted the later start times.

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