We all know that waking up early in the morning is one of the most difficult things to do. The grogginess, tiredness, and overall mental block of our bodies are some of the worst things to deal with, especially on a consistent basis. Adolescents require a significant amount of sleep even into high school. Despite this, schools begin to start earlier in junior high. Instead of 8:30 or 9 a.m., middle schools are beginning to roll back start times to 8 a.m. or earlier. This early start also continues into high school. Pinewood must be the difference and change the start of school time to 8:30 a.m. every day.
According to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, students throughout middle and high school need between nine and nine and a half hours of sleep to be rested and awake the next day. Schools usually end around 3 p.m., and then students often go to various extracurricular activities like sports or clubs. Students will arrive home after these activities around 5 or 6 p.m. With hours of homework, time wasted on possible distractions, and dinner, many students find themselves going to bed at 11 p.m. or later. Waking up at 7 a.m. the next morning gives them only eight hours of sleep. Even worse, this is a best case scenario as the Nationwide Children’s Hospital reports that students get an average of seven hours of sleep each night.
With students needing more rest, I think that Pinewood can make a difference in the lives of its students by starting school later. Even just a half hour to an hour later would give students the sleep they need. As students spend more time sleeping, it would encourage better habits and they would be able to fit in the last bit of sleep they need to reach their nine hour quota. Research has shown that sleep increases alertness, academic performance, and cognitive ability, while decreasing anxiety and poor decision making. In the daily lives of students, these attributes can be the difference between positive and negative results in school, whether it be through test grades or general information absorbed in the classroom.
With a later start at school, the benefits give students the best of both worlds: more sleep and more accomplishments. Pinewood must implement a later start for Upper Campus in order to better support its students. By pushing back the start time of school, Pinewood would improve the lives of its students and create a healthier learning environment for everyone.