Why School Should Start Later

Have you ever woken up in the morning and felt really tired? That’s probably because you didn’t get enough actual sleep, even if you got in bed at an early time. A big factor of not getting enough sleep is school starting too early. That’s why we think schools should start later, specifically after 8:30.

High schools and middle schools should start at or after 8:30 AM in order to give students the recommended amount of sleep which, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the CDC, is 8-10 hours a day.

Many people believe that if you get into bed early, you wake up earlier. So if you slept at 10 PM and woke up at 6 AM, you would still get enough sleep. But that common belief is wrong. According to Amanda Macmillan from Time, teenagers start producing the hormone melatonin, which induces sleepiness, on a delayed schedule compared to others. This makes it difficult for teenagers to sleep before 11 PM. If you sleep at 11 PM, then you need to wake up at 7 AM in order to get the recommended amount of sleep. However, as seen on wcpss.net even Green Level’s latest school buses arrive at school at 7:02, which means there is no way you could wake up at 7 and still make the bus.

You might be wondering, what happens if you don’t get the recommended amount of sleep? Well, the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine says that reaction time decreases, car crash rates increase, obesity risk increases, along with much more. In fact, according to the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, if school start times are delayed by 1 hour, car crash rates will decrease by 16.5%. Amanda Macmillan at Time says that even school performance can decrease if you do not get enough sleep. That’s why our school hours need to change.

You might not know this, but people have already registered opinions on this issue in Wake County! According to WRAL, in September of 2018, students from around Wake County and even from Panther Creek High School, the school where many of Green Level’s sophomores came from, petitioned on Change.org for schools to start after 8:30 AM.

 Schools should start at a later time, and this would increase the sleep that students, teachers, and administrators in school get. If enough of us sign the petition mentioned above, maybe we can get Wake County’s attention and make a change in our school that benefits students at Green Level High School and all over Wake County.