Less School and More Sleep

By James Duong


“Sleep is for the weak”. This quote pretty much applies to everyone. After a long day of school, all students are fatigue and need sleep. Like gasoline for cars, sleep refuels us for the following day. We all need sleep, no matter if it makes us weak since we need energy for the next day. Now, what if we have two essays due the next day, an important test the following the day after the two essays? Well, how can a person manage all of this, but still get the recommended eight hours of sleep? This is a problem all high schoolers face. The decision between sleep and grades. Some students value grades to be more important than sleep, but some value sleep better. What if I told you that we didn’t have to pick sides if this one thing would change. . . school start time. If only school could start 30 minutes later, students wouldn’t have to face the decision between their grades and sleep, which is a battle where you’ll never win. Pushing school start time back would change students’ study time and refuel students’ moods.

      Pushing back school time would eliminate the need to pick between their sleep and their studying time. Students now have the option to wake up at the same time before and do a bit of studying right before school. According to Oxford Learning, “students’ brains tend to be the sharpest in the morning.” Students now can choose to either sleep even more than before or wake up at their normal time and do a bit of studying. 

      Students’ behavior would also improve if school time was pushed back. According to “Impact of Delaying School Start Time on Adolescent Sleep, Mood, and Behavior”, it is stated that a delayed school start time improves students’ mood and behavior. Students surveyed in this study reported to be participating in more activities more frequently after the start time was moved back.  Pinewood’s environment would benefit even more if the start time was moved back.

      Moving the start time back would greatly improve Pinewood. All students would get to school on time and their mood, and study habits would be improved. The downside to this is that in order to have classes being the same duration, activities after school would have to be pushed back. This is a huge downside because, for example, some sports share the same practice area. For basketball, there are only two courts: one in Fabian and another in Pinewood. Pinewood’s JV basketball team practice last school year was already extremely late, some being at 7 p.m. If school start time is pushed back, some practices will then start at 8 p.m and this is extremely inconvenient to some athletes. I still firmly believe  that school start time would be pushed back because the improvement of students’ behaviors and choices outweigh after-school activities since