School Start Time Not Supported by Brain Research

Student+John+Doleschy+catching+up+on+sleep
Student John Doleschy catching up on sleep

Student John Doleschy catching up on sleep

Student John Doleschy catching up on sleep

Ellie Artone and Marleh Lehmann

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Students at Arrowhead North Campus have to be at school at 7:30 every morning and students are wondering if that early start time is benefitting them, or damaging their academics.

In a Brown University Study, conducted in the 1980’s by researcher Mary Carskadon, it was discovered that the brain is fully functional about two hours after a person wakes up. Therefore, during the beginning of the school day, a student’s brain is not fully awake and unable to process as much information as they are later in the day.

According to the same study, melatonin levels in a teenager’s brain begin to increase around 10:45 pm. This late time explains why when people attempt to go to bed at an earlier time and are unable to sleep: the melatonin levels are not high enough yet to fall asleep.

AHS senior, Lyndee Meissner says, “I think I would be more ready for the day if school started a couple hours later. I would have more time in the morning and wouldn’t feel so rushed. I’d be able to eat a healthy breakfast, and because I wouldn’t be as tired, my academics would most likely improve.”

Meissner said, “When I’m tired, I can’t even pay attention in class. I have to use my study hall to catch up on sleep instead of do school work.”

AHS senior, Abbey Lippold said, “Having school start at the time that it does, does not effect me in anyway. I am just so use to it that it doesn’t seem like it is that early.”

Lippold says she would rather keep the time that school starts compared to changing it to a later time. She likes waking up early and just wants to get her day done with.

“Waking up early and starting the day at a good hour is how I like to spend my days. If school started later all of my after school activities would have to shift back as well,” said Lippold.

Lippold says she is involved with school activities along with being on two varsity sports. She likes how the the sport practices are done at 5pm (most of the time) leaving a few hours after practice to do homework and get ready for the following day.

“If we started late, my sports practices would also shift back. Even if it is only an hour that could take away a lot of time for homework, and homework comes first before sports. It would eventually catch up,” said Lippold.

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