Sleep is vital to student’s health

Lizzy Wagstaff, Guest Reporter

It is important for teenagers to get enough sleep every night, and school starting at 7:50 a.m. keeps that from happening.

Middle and high schools have been recommended to start at 8:30 a.m. or later by the American Academy of Pediatrics. That is 40 minutes later than Bellevue West starts school. 

Eight to 10 hours of sleep is recommended to teenagers according to American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Teenagers are more likely to do worse in school and have symptoms of depression if they get less than the recommended amount of sleep.

After school clubs, sports, and jobs limit the amount of time students have after school. Some students don’t have enough time to finish homework as well as get the recommended amount of sleep. If school started later, it would allow students to be able to sleep more, instead of forcing students to wake up without enough sleep to go to school.

While Bellevue West’s start time at 7:50 a.m. is early enough, students who live far away, ride the school bus, or walk may have to get up even earlier. For example, at the beginning of the year, the first stop a bus stopped at was at 6:46 a.m. That is almost two hours before the recommended school start time, and over an hour earlier than Bellevue West starts. Moving the school’s start time to later would allow these students to get closer to the recommended amount of sleep.

School starting later would also improve how well students do at school. According to the University of Minnesota, more students were on time to school when school start times were moved from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. It would also give students more energy to successfully complete assignments.

Students’ grades have been found to increase due to school starting later. A study from the University of Washington showed this. After moving the start time of school from 7:50 a.m. to 8:45 a.m., biology students’ final grades increased 4.5 percent.

Changing the start time of high schools to 8:30 a.m. or later will be an overall positive change. It will help students to be the best students they can.