The Positives of Sleeping In: School Edition

School start times are changing for the upcoming school year. Learn how the change will positively impact you.

The Positives of Sleeping In: School Edition

 As high schoolers, most of us can collectively agree that sometimes we do not get enough sleep.  Teenagers are known for staying up way too late and unfortunately due to school times, we have to get up way too early. 

   Current high school students in Springfield Public Schools start class at 7:30 and are dismissed at 2:30. Although having the privilege of leaving school during the afternoon is nice for most of us, we as students are truly suffering because of how early we have to arrive at school. Johns Hopkins pediatrician, Michael Crocetti, suggests that teenagers need 9 to 9.5 hours of sleep per night. However, according to Healthline, 73 percent of high school students are not getting the recommended amount of sleep needed. 

   Not getting enough sleep can cause many issues internally and externally. Under sleeping can cause a condition known as sleep deprivation, a serious condition where an individual is unable to receive the correct amount of sleep. According to the child mind institute, 60 to 70 percent of teenagers live with mild sleep deprivation. Physical impacts that sleep deprivation can cause is decrease of balance, body aches, weakness, and even cold or flu-like symptoms. Although the physical toll that a lack of sleep can have, mentally the damages can be much worse.

   Symptoms such as irritability, increased anger, impairments to the frontal lobe, increase of depression/anxiety, and more are all problems that can occur while functioning on little sleep. Though for many years, teenagers have not been sleeping for the correct amount due to early school times, next year might look a little different.

   Next school year, the SPS district will have new start times. For us high school students, class will run from 8:10-3:10. Middle school classes will run from 9:00-4:00 and elementary schools will have classes from 7:20-2:20. The main reason for the start time change was to accommodate the new students who are needing bus transportation throughout the district. With the limited amount of school bus drivers available, these new start times were deemed the best option. 

   Although many high school students are frowning upon the idea of staying in school until 3:10, ultimately it has better effects on students. Not only will going to school later increase the amount of sleep teenagers are getting, but it also helps improve our grades. According to Healthline, pushing back school start times to later in the morning helps teenagers with their work and engagement. 

   “But research increasingly suggests that starting school later in the day — adjusting start times by as much as an hour — can have significant positive effects on teens, from their brains to their bodies,” Healthline said.

   A study performed by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine showed that delaying start times by even one hour, lead to increased academic engagement among high school students. 

  Lisa J. Meltzer, a pediatric psychologist at National Jewish Health said, “Healthy school start times is critical to help students obtain sufficient sleep, which is essential for all aspects of health, well-being, and learning.”

   While high school can bring a number of challenges to students, one thing that they don’t have to worry about next year is not getting enough sleep. Pushing back school times by almost an hour is going to have many positive effects on teenagers such as an increase of academic engagement, improvements of mental health, and an overall feeling of being refreshed after a night’s restful sleep.