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Opinion: Should School Start Later?

By: Andrea Arteaga

Imagine waking up to the blaring alarm clock and not feeling well-rested enough to be ready for school. This happens to be one of the biggest problems of teenagers today. We should push start times back since it is affecting students' ability to be focused, they are sleep deprived, and their mental health is affected.

I conducted a survey with 33 students from different grades at White Plains High School. Questions included if they believed school should start later, if they would be willing to start school at 8:00 a.m., and if they feel unfocused coming to school so early in the morning. Among their responses, students reported feeling “somewhat focused.” Clearly, this is not ideal for learning.

I have heard from multiple students that they do feel sleep deprived, which is problematic. When children are sleep deprived, they tend to not be focused. All students should be getting the right amount of sleep for their age group. If they do not do this, according to the CDC, it could lead to negative consequences such as being overweight and prone to other problems in their lifetime. The school board should listen to students. If they listen to students, our test scores may even increase.

Most people's mental health goes hand in hand with the quality and amount of sleep they get. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, sleep deprivation can lead to more risk of being diagnosed with anxiety and depression, which is dangerous, especially during the pandemic, which has caused the mental decline of many.

So, I propose that the school start time should be pushed to 8:00 a.m., since the research backs it up.

Overall, school is an important part of our lives, and we should be awake while we are here. The extra sleep could improve brain function. Also, it could just make us feel better mentally in terms of no longer having to worry about not being completely awake when at school. It's a small change that would have a big positive impact on our student body.

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