The Time That School Starts: Is It Affecting Our Learning?

Everyone has to go to school 5 days out of the week. Of course, that does not mean that it is easy to get there. As you all know, the first bell at MMS rings around 7:55, and most buses come around 7:20-7:30. This means that students must wake up at around 7:00 to get to school on time, unless they are being driven to school. (This may vary by student.) For some it is not a problem to wake up at this time, but for many, waking up around 7:00 is quite difficult.

According to TIME Health, starting school earlier prevents students from sleeping well and that affects their health and academic performance. Getting no sleep can also cause weight gain and a greater likelihood for substance abuse. Many agree with this; for example, Brianna Shmulewitz (Orange Team) says that “School starts way too early, and everyone gets an unhealthy amount of sleep. Most people are always tired.” This is true, especially since most students have athletic or social events after school and are out late at night.

Getting no sleep can also affect somebody’s mood greatly. According to  TIME Health (again), “Chronic sleep loss in teens is linked to poor school performance and a higher risk for depressive symptoms.” But that is just the extreme. For some people, running on low sleep makes them tired and more prone to mood swings. In fact, 66.7% of the people interviewed for this article say that they do not like waking up early in the morning.

This means that when children are asked to wake up early in the morning for school 5 out of 7 days in the week, their health, academic performance and mental health is being affected. This is not good, as being an adolescent in middle school is already hard enough: having to handle grades, assessments, and a new schedule.

TIME Health also states that children require (but not necessarily get) 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep each night. Fortunately, most of the time students are able to get this amount of sleep, but sometimes, they don’t. Lack of sleep can be caused by electronics/caffeine late at night, or being very active around the time of sleep. These things could make it more difficult to fall asleep, causing a person to fall asleep at a later time than normal, and taking away precious hours of sleep. It is recommended that you do not partake in the previously mentioned activities before sleep, but most of the time, students cannot help it.

We understand that school needs to start so early because we have to get all 8 periods in before the day is over, but if school started just an hour or two later, the school day would still end around 4:00 PM, which is not too late, as most after school activities start later than that.

In conclusion, starting school early negatively affects students mental and physical health, academic performance, and moods. It is hoped that in the future, school will start later so that students can do great work in school!