Later Start = More Smart?

School is starting later this year, but studies and evidence show that later starts improve outcomes for students.

Later Start = More Smart?

Gustavo Hernandez, Staff Writer

All across California, high schools have changed the start time from 8:00 to 8:30. But should school start at an even later time? 

According to the CDC, having to get up for school early can come with negative effects. Not getting enough sleep is also another problem many students face. Students who aren’t getting enough sleep are more likely to suffer from symptoms of depression, perform poorly in school, and not engage in school activities. 

Teenagers need at least 8 hours of sleep, but according to the CDC, more than 70% of high schoolers don’t get enough sleep. In fact, most adults in America just don’t get enough sleep (50 to 70 million Americans have chronic sleep disorders) 

Data from a 2015 survey shows that many high school students did not get enough sleep (about 7 out of 10 students) – meaning that the negative impacts of sleep loss are compounding on students’ educational outcomes. Not getting enough sleep could also potentially lead to becoming sleep deprived, which has even more serious consequences for the health and overall wellbeing of students. 

School starting later can help teens get enough sleep because Teens who reported getting enough sleep were more likely have overall better health. One of the benefits of school starting later is overall improved mental health, improved academic outcomes, and less tardiness. 

Compared to other schools that start earlier, student grades were 4.5 percent higher than those who had school earlier, and students who started later missed school less.  Edison overall will benefit from the later start time, but moving the start even later would help everyone.