Student Well-Being Improves with Later Start Times

Since classes have shifted to remote learning, the adjusted schedule now has a later start time. Previously, a Spyglass article titled “Opinion: Late Start Gives Students a Head Start in School” discussed how students could benefit from a later start. In this follow-up article, students respond to the new schedule and how it has affected their sleep schedules. 

The previous Spyglass article mentioned a study from Sleep Med Rev which confirmed that “when students were allowed to sleep later in the morning, they still went to bed at the same time, and got more sleep.” 

Ileia G. ’22 believed this to be true. “I think that the later start time has helped my sleep schedule because I get about 30 to 45 more minutes of sleep than I usually would, and 30 minutes is a lot for me.”

Other students were in agreement with Ileia. “Even though I go to bed around the same time, the later start allows me to get a lot more sleep,” said Sonaya V-W. ’22.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, teenagers should be getting at least eight hours of sleep per night.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, teens should be getting at least eight hours of sleep per night. (Rachel Alexander)

Genevieve U. ’23 is still able to get the recommended amount of sleep while going to sleep later. “I go to bed later and wake up later now… before I slept for seven or eight hours, now I sleep the same. My current sleep schedule is not sustainable, but I do enjoy the extra time.”

Zelia M. ’21 also found the extra time in the morning has not drastically changed her sleep schedule. “I have a really weird sleep schedule, and for some reason, I always end up naturally waking up anywhere from 7-8, so it hasn’t changed anything too much.”

Despite getting the same amount of sleep, the new schedule seems to have benefited other aspects, such as students’ well-being and daily routines. “I haven’t gotten any more sleep hour-wise but starting later in the morning has been so much less stressful for me. My rest throughout the night is a lot more restful since I no longer have to worry about having to wake up so early in the morning,” said Ariana A. ’23.

Sonaya agreed that the later start time produces less stress. She discussed the benefits of having free Wednesdays as well. “I feel like both the extra time and the free Wednesdays have definitely helped a lot with maintaining the Junior workload,” she said. “Specifically, the free Wednesdays have been super beneficial for me. I really enjoy having a later start time and the free Wednesdays. The free Wednesdays definitely help me stay on top of my workload and decrease my stress. I like having a break in the school week to refresh myself for the next two days of classes.” 

Students have also reported that the change has allowed for healthier sleep habits. “I also don’t have to use an alarm anymore which is super nice because waking up naturally makes me feel way better throughout the day,” said Zelia.

As to how the later start has affected students’ performance, there appears to be a mixed reaction.“In a normal sleep schedule, I would wake up at 7 for class at 8, but now I am waking up at like 8:15 for class at 8:30. I am not as prepared, not fully awake, warmed up, and ready for my classes in the morning,” explained Genevieve.

 On the other hand, Ariana finds the extra time in the morning useful. “There is time in the morning to finish some studying or extra work, which I find really helpful and less stressful,” she said. 

While there are mixed experiences on whether or not the later start time has dramatically improved sleep schedules for students, there is a general movement towards a healthy amount of sleep.

How has the later start time affected your sleep schedule?

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