By Kristian Jones, Opinion Editor

Waking up at 6:30 a.m. just to get to school is something some teens in the U.S are used to. But these early start times affect students mentally and academically.

High school should start at a reasonable time to allow students to perform better. A good time to start high school is 8:30 a.m.

 A later start time can help improve students’ academic performance. Students who are more well-rested and clear-minded are shown to perform better. A study conducted by Judy Owens, a doctor at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, showed well-rested students focus better in school allowing them to be at their best. 

Studies also show more sleep improves students’ mental health. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine suggests that teens sleep at least eight to 10 hours each night in order to be well-rested and in good health. Teens that don’t, suffer from sleep deprivation increasing their risk of depression, anxiety, and other possible mental health problems. Though lack of sleep does not cause mental health disorders like depression by itself. However, sleep does directly affect people’s moods and attitudes. More sleep can improve students’ attitudes overtime giving teachers more receptive students.  

Current start times affect students’ biological clocks. Teens have a harder time sleeping at night and getting up early in the morning

Teachers and parents opposed to starting high school earlier complain about how it affects elementary school start times and their bus schedules. Most schools stagger their start times allowing for buses to make multiple runs to save money. However, hiring additional bus drivers would allow elementary students to have transportation and not have to wake up at earlier times such as 6:30 a.m.    

High schools should switch their start times to 8:30 a.m. to help improve the well-being of their students. 

Kristian Jones

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