There are many methods students can improve on their performance in school. No, I am not talking about getting tutors, increasing more studying time, or even doing homework. I am talking about the time school starts. I am sure that many of us have at one time arrived late to school. Whether its getting stuck in traffic, or waking up late. But the real reason why school should start later in the day is all about the biological clock that regulate our body. The time we start our day should run on the biological time or circadian rhythm which regulate our body’s performance.
According to researchers, the average time a teen needs to sleep is between 8.5 to 9.25 hours per night. The teenage body’s biological wake-up time ranges from 6:30-9:00 am. Since our body is more nocturnal in our teenage years, we tend to go to sleep later at night. If we sleep the required 8-9 hours, we would be tardy for school everyday. A night of sleep deprivation takes a week to recover. Lack of sleep leads to negative consequences that affect a student’s performance. Students who had enough sleep had better long term memory that lead to better retention of materials learned in school.
Other studies have shown that sleep deprivation can lead to physical problems. Studies have linked our body’s metabolism to our internal clocks. Lack of sleep can lead to higher risk of depression, obesity, diabetes and cancer. Therefore, if we deprive our body of sleep, the long term consequences can be a lifetime of devastation for our bodies.
Schools with later start times than traditional school schedules showed that student performance is improved in all areas. A study that looked at 9000 students over a period of time found that grades, test scores, and overall performances in core subjects improved when schools started later in the day. The students had better cognitive performance in class as well as physical performance in athletics. Not sleeping enough also causes poor decision making. As a result, students performance decreases.
Starting schools later also improve the mental health of the students. Students tend to be more enthusiastic about attending school and therefore are less likely to be tardy. Also they focused better in class and had improved moods. Their attitude towards school improved. Students had less symptoms of depression and drop out rates decreased. There is also a drop in the number of students with substance abuse. Adjusting the schedule of school can lead to better emotional health of the students.
Finally, starting school later will allow the student to have time to eat a proper breakfast. Research shows that the body performs best when we eat a big meal for breakfast. Insulin peaks early in the day. It regulates our metabolism for proper function of the body.
In conclusion, all schools should consider adjusting school start times. It will benefit students’ academic and mental performance in school. Doing well in school will lead to later success in life.