Why Should School Start Later: Negative Effects of Early School Start

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1679 |

Pages: 4|

9 min read

Updated: 3 November, 2023

Words: 1679|Pages: 4|9 min read

Updated: 3 November, 2023

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Why Should School Start Later?
  3. Conclusion
  4. Works Cited
  5. Video Version


Everyone has always hated getting up super early to go to school. As children get older they move to different schools, from elementary to middle to high school, and the start times get earlier. In elementary school it was never a problem getting up but getting older, it always got harder to get up and the days were always longer. Schools start so early in the morning that it is hard to focus, and students tend to miss more of their earlier classes and attend all their later classes. Schools everywhere should start later because it would benefit the students and teachers. All children need sleep and want sleep during the weekdays and that is very difficult. It has been noticed that older students and younger students, such as third graders and eleventh graders, sleep patterns are very different. In many places, it is the same way that middle schools and high school start earlier than elementary schools. So why should school start later? Argumentative essay will provide the answer.

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Why Should School Start Later?

The problem is that adolescents stay up at least two and a half hours later than younger children do. Older kids stay up for various reasons and younger children can fall asleep easier and earlier than high school students. Kids from elementary school all the way to high school tend to get up at relatively the same time but as stated before older kids go to sleep later than younger children. Ages 3-17 children tend to get up at the same time which is 7 a.m. The sleep patterns differ between high school students and elementary students, but they are also very different between students and teachers. Students and teachers both have issues with school hours and both of their sleep patterns are negatively influenced by the morning shift. Even though they are at school around the same time, their sleep patterns are different. Students and teachers get up earlier on the weekdays. Students get up around 6:09 and teachers wake around 5:56. Adolescents and adults need around 9 hours of sleep daily. Since schools are starting so early, they cannot get the needed sleep time, eight to nine hours. Even though teachers go to school the same time as students, consequences are worse for students and it seems to have more of a critical effect on students. No matter if it is a student or a teacher, the quality of sleep is very important for everybody.

Students need a good amount of sleep to be able to focus and get through the school day. Students ability to function during school is impacted by the quantity, regularity, and quality if their sleep. The quality of sleep is not only important for the students, but it is also important for the teachers. The quality of sleep affects the way students and teachers act throughout the day. Daytime sleepiness and poor sleep quality on school days in students and teachers may comprise school and work performance. Since students and teachers stay up so late at night, they tend to be very tired during the day. It is important to get sleep, but it is more important to get a good sleep. There is not really a point in sleeping or trying to get sleep when it is not a good sleep because no matter what students will be tired during the day. While the quality of sleep is important, so is the amount of sleep a student or teacher is getting on school nights. The amount of sleep students and teachers are getting is not good and the reason why is because of school. Students are either staying up very late doing homework and school-related activities or they are waking up very early to go to school. Young adolescents obtain an inadequate amount of sleep.

They are not getting the sleep they need to make it through the day. When students move into middle school and high school, they must make that adjustment from waking up later to waking up very early and as students are getting older, they are staying up much later. Students that fall asleep later at night are being forced to wake up at the earliest times to get to school on time. Students are not getting nearly enough sleep on the weekdays. Since students do not get a lot of sleep on the weekdays, they catch up on the sleep on the weekends. Students spend so much of their weekends sleeping because they do not get sleep on the weekdays. As the school year is coming to an end all students want to do is sleep because school gets harder and harder and it gets harder and harder to focus on no sleep. The amount of sleep students get has to do with when students go to bed and why they stay up so late at night. Not all students stay up late at night doing school work and school-related activities, but most students do stay up for those reasons. Parents always think that students stay up late not doing school related things, but most students stay up doing school work. Students who stay up later spend more time doing homework and less time watching tv. Students then must get up early for school.

Most of the time adolescents stay up late for homework, sports, and jobs. Staying up late for school sports and activities and doing homework can undermine school achievement. When students are staying up late and waking up early, it is hard for them to focus and do well in school. Sleep is not the priority for students when it should be one of their first priorities because it is very important. Adolescents often push aside sleep to do social, academic, and extracurricular activities. Students tend to stay up late to do school related things and it can cause students to be sleep deprived because they are not getting the sleep they are supposed to be getting. Sleep deprivation is a very bad thing, but many students tend to have it. Sleep deprivation is the condition of not having enough sleep. Since students are staying up late, they tend to be very sleep deprived. There are many effects of not getting enough sleep, impaired performance, fatigue, decreased the ability to handle complex situations, memory deficits, and leads to them waking up later weekends. It is like cause and effect when students do not get enough sleep, all these things can happen to them just by not getting enough sleep at night because of the way schools are designed. Adolescents are sleep deprived when high schools begin classes much before 8:15 a.m. It is hard for students to be motivated to do things in school when they are sleep deprived and all they think about is getting more sleep at night. When students are sleep deprived, they are very tired and in school, it can affect their overall performance and their achievement can suffer.

A student’s performance in school has a lot to do with their attitude and whether they are motivated in school. When students do not get a lot of sleep, their performance is not as good as it could be. The causes of early start times are students are absent or late, students are moody and sleepy, students are inattentive in class, students reported feeling sleepy between 8-10 when in the classroom, and it is linked to reduction in student performance. As shown above, many bad things come out of early start times.


The causes of later start times are attendance rates for all students improved, student’s achievement improved, better academic achievement makes jobs tend to be easier. As shown above, starting schools later has a lot of great things that come out of it. Starting schools before 8:00 a.m. can make students’ performance substantially worse in their earlier classes. Students have insufficient credits for graduation because they have missed too many first and second-period classes due to such early start times. Early start times can take away from adolescent’s sleep schedules and requirements. If starting school later means better performance out of the students, then the schools should do something about it and start school later.

Schools can do many things to help the students in having a better achievement. Starting schools at later times is one way to recapture those who might otherwise not complete high school. Some schools have already changed their start times later and they have gotten good results out of it. In Minnesota, when start times were later, students got higher grades, behaved better, and had fewer absences and tardies. When they changed their start times from 7:15 to 8:40 a.m. it affected more than 12,000 students. It affected them in many ways whether it be doing better in school, getting more sleep, getting better grades, it helped a lot of students.

The temporary organization of school start times needs to change to obtain better learning conditions for students. Students will be able to focus more, students will not miss as much school, and students’ overall achievement will be better. Overall there are many benefits of changing start times. It benefits the students the most, but it also benefits the teachers. Everyone in the school would be getting something out of it not just the students.

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Students spend so much of their time dedicated to school and they stay up late finishing school work, students would like school a whole lot better if it started at a reasonable time. Students and teachers are not getting the amount of sleep they need to have a good work performance throughout the day. If schools started later, everyone will have more motivation to go to school because they will have the sleep they need, and they will be able to have everything done that needs to be done. There are some schools that have made later start times and they have benefitted from it very much and as the years go by schools should realize that it is better for everyone.

Works Cited

  1. Carskadon, M. A., & Acebo, C. (2002). Regulation of sleepiness in adolescents: update, insights, and speculation. Sleep, 25(6), 606-614.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). Schools start too early. Retrieved from
  3. Danner, F., & Phillips, B. (2008). Adolescent sleep, school start times, and teen motor vehicle crashes. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 4(6), 533-535.
  4. Gruber, R., Somerville, G., Enros, P., Paquin, S., Kestenberg, J., & Carrier, J. (2016). Sleep efficiency (but not sleep duration) of healthy adolescents is greater with later school start times. Sleep, 39(2), 349-356.
  5. Hagenauer, M. H., Perryman, J. I., Lee, T. M., & Carskadon, M. A. (2009). Adolescent changes in the homeostatic and circadian regulation of sleep. Developmental Neuroscience, 31(4), 276-284.
  6. Minges, K. E., & Redeker, N. S. (2016). Delayed school start times and adolescent sleep: A systematic review of the experimental evidence. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 28, 86-95.
  7. Owens, J. A., Belon, K., & Moss, P. (2010). Impact of delaying school start time on adolescent sleep, mood, and behavior. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 164(7), 608-614.
  8. Paruthi, S., Brooks, L. J., D'Ambrosio, C., Hall, W. A., Kotagal, S., Lloyd, R. M., ... & Wise, M. S. (2016). Recommended amount of sleep for pediatric populations: a consensus statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 12(6), 785-786.
  9. Wahlstrom, K. L., & Dretzke, B. (2009). Changing times: Findings from the first longitudinal study of later high school start times. NASSP Bulletin, 93(4), 1-22.
  10. Wheaton, A. G., Ferro, G. A., Croft, J. B., & School start times and insufficient sleep among high school students—United States, 2015–2017. (2018). Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 67(3), 85-90.

Video Version

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Cite this Essay

Why Should School Start Later: Negative Effects of Early School Start. (2022, May 09). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 20, 2024, from
“Why Should School Start Later: Negative Effects of Early School Start.” GradesFixer, 09 May 2022,
Why Should School Start Later: Negative Effects of Early School Start. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 20 Jun. 2024].
Why Should School Start Later: Negative Effects of Early School Start [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 May 09 [cited 2024 Jun 20]. Available from:
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