A Public Service of Santa Fe Community College
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Later High School Start Times Would Benefit Students, But Create Other Problems

A state study says adolescents aren’t getting enough sleep and it is affecting their health and education. The major factor is high school start times that are considered to be too early.

But a solution of later start times presents other problems.

That’s according to a study presented Wednesday to the Legislative Education Study Committee.

The report was requested through a Memorial that was passed last session and introduced by Representative and retired educator Joy Garratt.

The study noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported a lack of sleep is “common” among high school students and is associated with increased risk of being overweight, drinking, smoking, using drugs and poor academic performance. 

 The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends high schools not start before 8:30 a.m. But such a move creates other problems. 

Daniyal Hussain is a Student at Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School and an intern for LESC. 

He told lawmakers later starts would be detrimental to students who work after school or have other activities to attend.

“I think another thing that should be mentioned is the idea of extracurriculars, when should extracurriculars take place,” he said.  “I know that currently my extracurriculars take place at the end of the day and this is possible because we get out right around 3:10 so (we) can go on for another and then we get out around 4:00 or 4:30ish. However, if you shift high school start times would you want extracurriculars to take place in the morning? Then students would have to get to school early, just another factor for consideration.”
According to the report, The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends kids ages 13-18 should sleep eight to 10 hours a day. 

The policy statement of the academy notes adolescents of those ages have circadian rhythms that prevent them from falling asleep earlier in the evening.
A study by the Rand Corporation found the economic benefit of later school start times “would outweigh the costs within five years after the change” in the vast majority of states, mostly due to less use of mental health facilities and juvenile judiciary and detention.