The Student News Site of Bridgewater-Raritan High School

The Prowler

The Student News Site of Bridgewater-Raritan High School

The Prowler

The Student News Site of Bridgewater-Raritan High School

The Prowler

Opinion: Many schools are pushing start times and Bridgewater-Raritan should follow

Ridge High School recently announced a pushed-back start time beginning in September 2024 to improve student well-being and overall academic performance.

“Starting school later is not about laziness, it’s about minimizing the potential of our youth,” said sleep scientist Dr. Matthew Walker.

However, many at Bridgewater-Raritan High School believe that the school should follow Ridge’s lead and start school later to improve student well-being and academic performance. 

Teens are required to sleep for about eight to ten hours to ensure their wellness and avoid sleep-deprivation. However, most teens do not feel tired until ten or eleven at night because of changes in their circadian rhythm which causes them to produce melatonin later than adults.

Despite this, teens are forced to wake up early in the morning to get to school on time, resulting in a lack of sleep which in turn impacts their ability to focus and give their best efforts at school. This overall reduces their academic performance and also takes a toll on their body.

Freshman Dimah Alhamami shared her thoughts on later start times.

“I would love it if school started later. Sometimes, I have to stay up pretty late to get work done, and most times I just can’t sleep that early, so I’m just constantly tired,” she said. 

Ridge High School pushing the opening times of school allows students to get more sleep and also be more proactive in school. 

More studies reveal that more sleep is not just better performance, but better mental well-being. It is proven that more sleep positively affects one’s grades. 

Aside from one’s academic life, sleep is also crucial to one’s mental health. Inadequate sleep impairs attention and slows cognitive processes. Student performance begins to drop after 16 hours of staying awake, and after 20 hours, they are completely out of focus.

Some teens in high school only get around four to five hours of sleep, oftentimes even less, causing their grades to drop and leading to more stress. Ridge High School’s decision to begin school later is reasonable and considerate of teen health.

Starting school later can improve teen health and also improve their academic life. Considering this, Bridgewater-Raritan should start school later next year to allow students to improve their mental health and also maintain solid grades. This simple shift in the schedule can help a lot of teens improve their overall lifestyle.

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