Benefits of Later Start Times for School

Growing up, I have continuously been told, “If you go to sleep early, you will have more energy to work in the morning. Although that is true, I find it hard to balance homework plus my extracurricular activities as I am advancing through school. I can feel the negative effects it has on my health. Studies have shown that getting less sleep causes a weaker immune system. Schools should start at a later time because of health benefits and productivity increase.

Later school times help increase student productivity in work and sports. Studies have shown that when teens get more sleep, standardized test scores go up(LA Times). Finley Edwards from Colby College found that math and reading scores have gone up by just delaying the start time by one hour. The fascinating thing is the people with the worst scores has the best improvement! Teny M. Shapiro, an economist at Santa Clara University, compares a one-hour change to shrinking ⅓ of a class.

While the health and productivity benefits are strong points, some people think that changing school times are not a viable option because of the balance between and school extracurricular activities. A later school start time will most likely result in a later discharge time. That means that in far away games students most likely even have to choose between class and a game. No student should have to make that choice. Some people also say that changing school times is expensive and could cause confusion. “Changing highschool times is difficult but important’. Phillips argues his point of understanding that changing school times is hard but of substance to discuss.

Though the point that extra-curricular activities will get pushed back is a valid point, eighty percent of students quit their sports by age fifteen. If people wanna focus on athletes than they should be fine with sacrificing a few hours of sleep over a passion. The majority of students that want to study hard and want to have a good job should be accounted for as well. The athletes and other extracurricular activities need just as much sleep as academics needs. Changing school times will not affect price but as Megan Reilly, chief financial officer for the Los Angeles Unified School District said that boosting attendance by 1% will bring a huge profit of 40 million dollars per year(LA Times).

Health benefits are one of the many best reasons for schools to start later. First of all your body needs adequate sleep to function properly, and to grow. Getting enough sleep reduces the amount of obesity. It also reduces teenagers to smoke, or do drugs, and drink(National Sleep Foundation). Students who start their day drowsy have it like that the whole day. Not enough sleep affects their athletics and decision making.

Teens naturally fall asleep later. Especially students going through puberty find it hard to be tired before 11 P.M. Another reason to delay school start times is that it can reduce the number in car crashes. In Lexington, Kentucky the 17-18 group age car crash rates dropped 16.5 % after two of the time change(National Sleep Foundation). Athletes with more sleep are less likely to get injured(LA Times)

The benefits outweigh the negatives in this argument. The productivity increase and health benefits would be an amazing change to every school.