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Nirosan Manivannan

Ms.Jeon
ENG3U1.1
November 27,2016

High Schools Starting Later: Healthier for Students?


The phone starts ringing because the night before you put an alarm for 7:00 am. You hit the
snooze button and go back to sleep. It rings again and you hit the snooze button again. The phone
rings again and you are done dealing with the alarm so you wake up and you find out that you
only have 20 minutes to get to school. You rush out of bed, brush your teeth, wash your face, put
clothes on for school, skip breakfast and run as fast as you can to school. You get to your class
and your teacher asks you why your late. You tell your teacher you woke up late and she tells
you to go get a late slip. You start walking to the office and think about why school starts so
early. This is a story that every high school student can relate to. High schools start way to early
for students. By starting high schools early, students are being stressed, pressured and are doing
poorly in school. Teenagers are losing sleep and lacking focus in school. By starting high schools
later than 8:30 pm students will be healthier.

First of all, teachers may say that students should be responsible to wake up early and should
be dedicated to school. "According to the National Sleep Foundation, children undergo a shift in
sleep patterns when they enter puberty which causes them to remain alert later into the evening
and to remain sleepy later in the morning. So, teenagers are naturally inclined to stay up later at
night and wake up later in the morning" (Pros and Cons). When teachers and parents blame the
students when they dont wake up early the real reason is puberty. Puberty is something that

students cant restrain so there is nothing students can do. "Historically students have been getting
less than 7 hours of sleep per day. Waking up from only getting less than 7 hours of sleep and
then staying up for another 12 or more hours seems very difficult" (McKibben). Students in high
schools go through this everyday. This further proves the fact that students waking up late is not
because they are lazy and not dedicated but idealistically because of puberty and the lack of
sleep.

Firstly, high schools should start later because it helps students mentally. Students are not
getting enough sleep. As said before according to the National Sleep Foundation students sleep
late and wake up late because they go through a shift in their sleeping patters. "In the early
morning, when their brains are not fully awake, students are forced to focus on difficult
academic tasks and concepts" (Pros and Cons). This leads them to do poorly in their tasks and
leads to poor academic performance. "When students must wake up early enough to get to class
by 8 am, the result can be a severe sleep deficit. Business reports show that a recent study
published in the Journal of Adolescent Health shows that about two-thirds of high school
students get less than seven hours of sleep per night. This indicates that only eight percent of
high school students get the nine hours of sleep that experts believe teenagers need. Advocates
argue that an 8:30 am start time improves students chances of success" (Pros and Cons).
Starting schools later will help students get the sleep they need. Later school times will help
correspond with their sleep pattern. Students are mentally affected and are being pressured. They
go through much stress in the morning because of the lack of sleep. If students get the sleep they
need they will mentally do better and be more successful. This leads to the second point. A well
rested student will perform better in school. If a student gets enough time in the morning to do

his or her morning routines and eats breakfast, that students brain will be ready for school and
the student will do much better in school. The student will have a better academic performance
and the student will be mentally healthy.

Secondly, starting high schools later will help students physically. Since high schools start
so early students do not get the chance to have breakfast. Breakfast is always said to be the most
important meal of the day because it is essential for teenagers. By not eating breakfast, students
are not getting the nutrients they need for their body. " Many studies have linked eating breakfast
to good health, including better memory and concentration, lower levels of bad LDL
cholesterol, and lower chances of getting diabetes, heart disease, and being overweight"
(Breakfast Benefits). I am a high school student and I have not eaten breakfast many times. I
have found breakfast inconsequential. But I regret thinking that way because I always end up
getting headaches in the first period and my stomach starts burning because I get very hungry. I
am not able to focus on my task and every time I end up doing poorly in my tasks. Students who
abstain from breakfast can face many consequences. Giving students time to sleep and time to
eat breakfast will help students stay and become more healthy physically.

Lastly, later school times will reduce risk of teen car crashes. "What many people do not
know is that sleepiness is a major factor in teen crashes . In fact, AAA says that drowsiness
contributes to more than 100,000 crashes per year . When teens drive while they are drowsy,
they have slowed reaction times and have a hard time paying attention to the road. Adolescents
are especially at risk for driving drowsy because of early school start times" (Morgan). There

are more and more data suggesting that insufficient sleep is common in our teens and that early
high school start times are a contributor to teens reduced sleep. New study suggests that teen
drivers who start class earlier in the morning are involved in significantly more motor vehicle
accidents than peers with a later high school start time" (Il). By making school start later than
8:30 am students will have enough sleep to be fully alert while they are driving and they will
remain wary. This will result in fewer car crashes in students and students will be safer when
they are driving.

In conclusion, high schools should start later than 8:30 am because it will be healthier for
students. By starting school later students will have a better mental health, they will be
physically healthy and there will be reduced teen car crashes. The high school boards should take
the idea of pushing back the start times for school into consideration because this will be very
healthy for students and will lead to better success in students. After all the school boards play a
part in taking care of the students health so taking this step will result in healthier students.

Works Cited Page


"Pros and Cons - Should Schools Start Later In the Morning?" Google Sites. N.p., n.d. Web. 27
Nov. 2016.
McKibben, Sarah. "Wake Up Calls (Fast Facts)." Start School Later. ASCD Education, Apr.May 2014. Web. 27 Nov. 2016.
"Breakfast Benefits: Energy, Weight Control and More." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 27 Nov.
2016.
"Schools Start Too Early." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, 13 Aug. 2015. Web. 27 Nov. 2016.
Richmond, Emily. "Why School Should Start Later in the Morning." The Atlantic 17 Aug. 2015:
n. pag. Print.
Dalby, Andrew. The Breakfast Book. London: Reaktion, 2013. Print.
Schaffhauser, Dian. "Research: Early School Start Times Hurt Students, Hinder Performance."
The Journal 09 Sept. 2015: n. pag. Print.
Morgan, Leigh. "Pros and Cons of Later School Start Times." Sleeping Resources. N.p., n.d.
Web. 28 Nov. 2016.
Il, Darien. "AASM News Archive." AASM. National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project, 14 Nov.
2014. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.