“Everybody learns better when they’re awake”

SAMANTHA RANDS, The Charter Opinions

Schools should have later classes because lack of sleep is not good for your health or education.

Public school’s classes start at about 7:25am, ACA’s earliest classes start from 8am-9am.  According to The National Sleep Foundation, teenagers need about eight to ten hours of sleep every night. To achieve this, students will have to go to bed at around 9pm. Teenagers stay up later due to their bodies producing more melatonin; that and with homework, sports, after school activities, social time with friends, and jobs, going to bed early isn’t always possible. Sleep deprivation takes a major toll on your health, putting you at a higher risk of obesity, heart disease, and depression.


Sleep is as important to your health as much as drinking water and eating right. Lack of sleep affects your physical appearance, such as pimples and dark circles under eyes. Tiredness is a major cause car crashes. About 100,000 crashes a year are caused from drowsiness, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Sleepy teens also are moodier and can’t concentrate.

When teenagers can’t concentrate, that affects their education. The cognitive processes in the brain can’t function on lack of sleep, hurting the concentration, alertness and problem solving. “Everybody learns better when they’re awake,” says a professor of psychiatry and human behavior, Mary Carskadon, in an Atlantic news article. The University of Minnesota’s Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement did a research on 9,000 students. They found that later classes boosted test scores and attendance. So why do classes still start bright and early in the morning?

Classes start early so the school bus pickup is before the morning rush hour, saving money on gas. Schools could start after the rush hour and avoid it. Since ACA doesn’t have buses this is irrelevant. Schools start sooner so it can end sooner; having more time for sports and after school activities. But students don’t perform well when they’re tired. Also getting out earlier so students who have to walk home don’t have to walk in the dark, but in winter it’s dark when school gets out anyway. The main problem with classes starting later would be that it would affect the schedule of the parents taking their kids to school.

ACA’s classes do start later than traditional public schools, but over half of the students live out of district; meaning that students still have to wake up early to drive to school. If ACA’s classes starting later caused better test scores, attendance, and health for the students, then it is worth it.



https://www.masterofartsinteaching.net/lists/5-pros-and-cons-of-later-school-start-times/ Accessed May 15, 2018.


https://classroom.synonym.com/advantage-having-school-start-early-4526.html Accessed May 15, 2018.


https://www.verywellfamily.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-starting-school-later-2609565  Accessed May 15, 2018.


http://time.com/4741147/school-start-time/ Accessed May 15, 2018.


https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/08/why-school-should-start-later/401489/ Accessed May 15, 2018.


https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/teens-and-sleep Accessed May 15, 2018.


https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/why-lack-of-sleep-is-bad-for-your-health/ Accessed May 15, 2018.


https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/08/surprise-students-arent-getting-enough-sleep/379020/ Accessed May 15, 2018.