As a middle school teacher for the past 37 years, I have noticed lately that some of my students come to class in the morning very tired and not very energetic.
Research shows that the amount of sleep you get can affect how well you learn.
Students who are well-rested tend to be more alert and focused and have better test scores. Students who get less sleep have a harder time paying attention in class, which can affect future test performances.
Participating in class is one of the key factors in becoming a successful student.
Most adolescents need from 8.4 to 9.2 hours of sleep on average a night. It is a fact that teenagers are physically programmed to stay up late and sleep later. I have students tell me that they are texting their friends or playing computer games well into the night.
Research has also shown that up to 20 percent of teenagers fall asleep during the first two hours of school.
Some high schools in Michigan that moved the start time about an hour later saw a significant reduction in dropout rates, depression, and higher test scores.
In my opinion, later start times for junior high and high school students would be beneficial.
I know that the bus situation and sports programs could be affected, but if we truly believe that what’s best for our students is to have a later start, then let’s get creative and find a solution.