Disproving Arguments Against Later School Start-Times
Nothing in the world is perfect and every idea is bound to have advantages and disadvantages. Every action ignites various consequences and some are bound to be negative. With that said, while delaying the start times of school have many health and academic benefits, there are still people who oppose the idea because of a string of doubts in their minds. These concerns are valid but are not difficult to argue against. In this case scenario, the pros outweigh the cons, and waking up later in the morning would improve the quality of the lives of adolescents.
Those against beginning classes later than high school’s average time worry that making the shift would affect those who attend after-school activities. Changing the hours of the school day would be a community-wide decision that runs the risk of altering the times of every other daily event. These proceedings include sports, church, and clubs. These are extremely important manners considering sports can make or break a child’s chances of getting into college, so it is crucial they are taken into careful consideration in regard to this debate.
While their worry that the start times of any events that occur directly after school will have to be changed is true, they are failing to consider that these later hours will benefit them as well. If they are not forced to awaken before the sun rises, they will have more energy to participate in these activities they are members of. Therefore, the results they receive will increase in quality and provide them with more satisfaction and experience.
Maintaining a healthy Circadium Rhythm could lead to increased alertness and performance, and a more efficient core body temperature and metabolism according to Lockley, Foster, and Kelley’s article Synchronizing education to adolescent biology: ‘let teens sleep, start school later’, which are all factors that contribute to better health and more beneficial life. If teenagers who did after-school activities were at their full-potentials, they would gain more from what they did. For example, if a track runner rested for eight hours – the recommended sleep time for adolescents – one night, they would without a doubt run quicker in a race than if they had for four hours. Children in youth groups and church organizations would be able to better process the scriptures conveyed to them and recall them at later points in their lives. Delaying these times would be worth the profit gained from it.
Many are doubtful that changing the starting times of schools would be for the better because they insist that children will stay up even later in response to the alteration. The result would be them obtaining the same amount of rest as they would have in the first place. This scenario was actually tested by a large group of researchers in a review titled Sleepmore in Seattle: Later school start times are associated with more sleep and better performance in high school students, who claim that deferring the beginning of classes, “led to a significant lengthening of daily sleep of over half an hour,” which more specifically was “a lengthening in the median daily sleep duration from 6 hours and 50 min to 7 hours and 24 min.” The improved time was closer to the eight hours of sleep a teenager should receive and would lead to them gaining more healthy minds and bodies.
Because students are so exhausted, it is likely that even if they have the chance to increase the hours they spend awake at night, they will not. Their bodies are used to going to bed at a certain time and statistics show they will continue to honor this, or at least fall victim to growing increasingly tired as the hour approaches. A great deal of them are even in support of shifting when school commences with hopes to gain those extra thirty minutes to an hour of shut-eye and waking up feeling ready to take on an entire day of learning and socialization. The tiny amount of them who would abuse the privilege of starting school at a belated time are minimal compared to those who would make the most of it.
A multitude of people argues that the earlier somebody wakes up, the more productive they are. In their minds, attending school at the crack of dawn only strengthens adolescents’ performances. Though, this belief is a myth, because while waking up at eight in the morning may do wonders for a person’s health, doing so at five in the morning after falling asleep at two definitely does not. Schools do not begin at appropriate times to foster success. They instead initiate learning at times when it is still dark outside, or when countless amounts of teenagers on summer vacation would not even have slept yet. On the other hand, awakening at one in the afternoon is detrimental to one’s well-being, but not at nine as opposed to six.
Judith A. Owens, Katherine Belon, and Patricia Moss conducted an experiment where they studied how changing the time school started in a Rhode Island district impacted their students. Their discoveries presented only improvements in efficiency. As stated in their article on the manner, Impact of Delaying School Start Time on Adolescent Sleep, Mood, and Behavior, “The percentage of students reporting participating in sports, homework, and other after-school activities was similarly high at both surveys,” and “the percentage of students rating themselves as at least some what unhappy or depressed also decreased significantly.” Not only did more teenagers feel better about themselves and complete their homework which intensifies their comprehension and academic performance, but they were also more likely to join sports and clubs. They will meet more friends through this process and spend more time indulging in their interests when they are awake. These developments give them a stronger shot at getting into colleges and living a joyful and triumphant life.
Any downside of modifying the hours of high schools across the country is overshadowed by a slew of benefits teenagers will receive from the conversion. They not only receive hours of sleep that better reflects their recommended amount but also improve every aspect of their lives. Children who already participate in sports improve at them while those who are too sleepy to attend after-school activities are more likely to sign up for them. Overall, the change leads to happier lives for high-school students, and it is unfair that they are held back from this because of a small number of doubts that can be easily disproven.
Dunster, Gideon P., et al. “Sleepmore in Seattle: Later School Start Times Are Associated with More Sleep and Better Performance in High School Students.” Science Advances, vol. 4, no. 12, 2018, https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aau6200.
Kelley, Paul, et al. “Synchronizing Education to Adolescent Biology: ‘Let Teens Sleep, Start School Later.’” Learning, Media and Technology, vol. 40, no. 2, 2014, pp. 210–226., https://doi.org/10.1080/17439884.2014.942666.
Owens, Judith A., et al. “Impact of Delaying School Start Time on Adolescent Sleep, Mood, and Behavior.” Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, vol. 164, no. 7, 2010, https://doi.org/10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.96.