Starting school later than usual can actually improve student productivity, study finds

If you ever ask a student what the most difficult thing about school is, among numerous things, one of the answers would be: getting up early in the morning! Certainly, no one likes leaving their cozy bed and be off to work.

Well, a number of school administrators believe that starting school early in the morning is of great advantage. You will hear claims such as it prepares the students for the life that lies ahead. But, on the contrary, there is perhaps something more vital to consider.

A new US research has suggested the possible benefits of starting school late than the time they normally start at!

If your child has not been performing well at school, it is not because he is dumb and careless. Instead, there is an internal biological phenomenon that underpins the explanation. Studies have shown that poor performance at school is linked with lack of sleep at night. Which is also to say that given schools start late than usual, students may actually be performing better.

Poor Performance at School: The Real Cause?

The discussion of schools starting late is not new to medical science. Health experts have increasingly suggested the possible advantages that can be gained if schools start later than they normally do.

To investigate the concerns further scientists associated with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine undertook a comprehensive study. The aim was to find the link between student productivity and schools starting late in the morning.

For the purpose of the research, data of about 15,000 students were gathered in the state of Colorado. The normal school timings start as early as 7 AM for high school students. The timings for middle school were 8 AM.

Accordingly, the scientists purposely delayed the starting time about an hour. Meaning by middle and high school started at 9 AM and 8 AM respectively. The students who volunteered were then asked to fill a questionnaire so their observations could be documented.

The questionnaire contained all sorts of questions ranging from their physical to mental well-being. Additionally, they were asked to report their sleeping hours, improvement in grades (if any) and motivation at school.

Once the research concluded, the results validated the initial hypothesis scientists had put forward. As a result of school starting late, students were able to prolong their sleeping hours. Subsequently, this had a positive impact on their productivity at school.

Why is the lack of sleep a problem?

If there is one thing the study points fingers towards is that sleep is a crucial part of teenage life. Not only is it responsible for the sustenance of the biological cycle, but it can also lead to improvements in other areas like better performance at school.

Medical experts have argued that a lack of sleep in teenage years can seriously hurt student morale. While surely it can worsen academic results, it can lead to other health complications e.g. obesity, anxiety. All of this validating the vitality of having an ample amount of sleep during puberty.

What does this study mean for school starting time?

Well, suffice to say, if schools start later than usual, the administrative staff would be doing more good to the students than harm.


Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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