The Benefits of Starting School Later: Improved Academic Performance, Better Health, and Safer Commutes

The Benefits of Starting School Later: Improved Academic Performance, Better Health, and Safer Commutes

Elizabeth Rust, Staff Writer

Many students and parents have advocated for later school start times, and for good reason. Research has shown that starting school later can have numerous benefits on both academic and health outcomes.

One of the most significant benefits of starting school later is improved academic performance. When students get adequate sleep, they are better able to concentrate and retain information. According to a study published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, students who start school later have higher grades, better attendance rates, and fewer behavioral problems compared to those who start school earlier. This is because students are able to wake up feeling refreshed and alert, ready to tackle the day ahead. The improved academic performance is not limited to the classroom; students who start school later are also more likely to participate in extracurricular activities and take on leadership roles in their communities.

Starting school later can also have a positive impact on mental health. Lack of sleep has been linked to depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. By starting school later, students can get the recommended amount of sleep and improve their overall well-being. This can lead to improved mood and a better ability to manage stress.

Lack of sleep has also been linked to obesity in children and adolescents. When students are sleep deprived, they are more likely to consume unhealthy foods and engage in sedentary activities. Starting school later can give students the opportunity to engage in physical activity and make healthier choices. This can lead to a reduced risk of obesity and other health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

Another benefit of starting school later is improved road safety. When students start school later, they are less likely to be commuting to school during peak traffic hours. This reduces the risk of accidents and improves road safety for everyone. Additionally, starting school later can reduce the number of students who feel rushed or stressed in the morning, which can also improve road safety by reducing the likelihood of aggressive driving or other risky behaviors.

In conclusion, starting school later has numerous benefits on academic, health, and safety outcomes. While some schools have already implemented later start times, there is still much work to be done to make this a reality for all students. It’s time for schools to prioritize the well-being of their students and consider starting school later. By doing so, they can improve academic achievement, mental health, physical health, and road safety.