Do American Schools Start too Early?

Lilly Threlkeld, Managing Editor

It’s no secret that most students in the United States don’t get enough sleep, with most schools starting before 8:30 a.m. and kids trying to keep up with things like homework, extracurricular activities, friends, and much more, there is no way to get the recommended amount of sleep.

It’s recommended that children ages 6 to 12 get between 9 and 12 hours of sleep. Teens ages 13 to 18 need to get eight to 10 hours of sleep a night. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionChildren and adolescents who do not get enough sleep have a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, injuries, poor mental health, and problems with attention and behavior.”

As of now right now more than 87% of students don’t get the recommended amount of sleep according to Stanford medicine, and that percentage is only getting higher the earlier schools start.  

With schools starting as early as 7 a.m most students feel like zombies in their first few classes before they can fully wake up.

“Technically children’s brains don’t actually start to work properly until 10 a.m. and by starting way earlier than that we can’t focus,” junior Amberlyn Smith said.

You would figure with classes starting so early that there would be more time to work on assignments, but for most students that’s not the case.   

“One of my teachers will make assignments due at like seven in the morning when the class doesn’t start for another 20 minutes,” junior Ashley Diaz said.

No one is sure why schools start so early, even though  health officials say that starting so early is harmful to students. Most parents work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  There is no obvious reason for school to start so early. But there are some upsides to school starting so early. 

“I only enjoy being able to go to school early because I get more free time after 2 p.m. especially now that I’m working almost full time, it’s easier to get all my classwork done and get to work on time with the school schedule, senior Rosalie Schram said.

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