Sleep: Do Highschoolers Need More of It?

Brody Henderson, Staff Writer

The idea of pushing back high school start times has been gaining traction in recent years, with many advocates arguing that early start times can be detrimental to the health and well-being of high schoolers. Research has shown that teenagers require more sleep than adults, and the typical high school schedule, which often requires students to be in class by 7 or 8 a.m., can leave many students sleep deprived. This lack of sleep can lead to a range of negative consequences, including poorer academic performance, and decreased mental and physical health. By pushing back high school start times, schools can help ensure that their students are well-rested and ready to learn.


While there are certainly logistical challenges associated with changing school schedules, many districts have successfully implemented later start times with positive results. For example, our neighboring Chatham High School was one of the first districts to act, moving the start time for highschool from 7:40 to 8:20 am.  These changes have been associated with improvements in academic performance, attendance, and student health. Overall, pushing back high school start times is a promising strategy for improving outcomes for high school students, and one that more schools should consider.