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Should school start times be later in the day or should they be earlier? If kids don’t get enough sleep can it affect kids performance in school and sports? Not getting a enough sleep is common among students and is among many health risks including drinking alcohol as well as low performance in school. 93% of high schools and 83% of middle schools in the U.S. start before 8:30 a.m (CDC Features.). Many organizations have recommended that middle and high schools start at 8:30 a.m or later to give students the opportunity to get the good night sleep.
During puberty, adolescents become sleeping late at night and need to sleep later in the morning as a result in shifts in biological rhythms. Setting a regular bedtime and rise time, including on weekends, is recommended for everyone. Other studies indicate that delaying start times raises attendance, lowers depression rates and reduces car crashes among teens. Biological research shows that circadian rhythms shift during the teen years, pushing boys and girls to stay up later at night and sleep later into the morning (Fischetti).
Elizabeth Baroni also found evidence of other potential mechanisms; later start times are associated with reduced television viewing, increased time spent on homework, and fewer absences. A number of school districts have responded by delaying the start of their school day, and a Rep. Zoe Lofgren recommended that schools nationwide start at 9:00 or later. Many students who have to wake up early for school do not get enough sleep, and beginning the school day at a later time would boost their achievement. Among middle school students, the impact of start times is greater for older students. Researchers have reported a bad correlation between self-reported hours of sleep and school grades among both middle and high-school students. Adolescents who lack sleep have a higher risk for behavioral problems such as depression, health complaints, and lower academic or even athletic performance. Sleep patterns shift toward later times for both sleeping and waking during adolescence — meaning it is natural to not be able to fall asleep before 11:00 pm. Sleeping less can make you more prone to pimples, acne, and other skin disorders (Teens and Sleep).
In conclusion, school start times actually decrease the kids performance in school or sports. The average school start time is 7:30am and the time we should go to school is 9:00 a.m or around them. The early start times can lower depression, drug use, performance, and fewer car crashes. “Once these school districts change, they don’t want to go back,” Wahlstrom says. Many students who have to wake up early for school do not get enough sleep and that beginning the school day at a later time would boost their achievement.
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