Students and teachers asleep at 8 a.m.


Marissa Perry, Staff

Most high schools in the United States begin around 7 a.m., which means students wake ridiculously earlier to prepare for the school day. 

Studies show that people needs around eight hours of sleep each night, but with early start times, few people get enough rest, most saying they average get six hours a night and fewer on weekends. 

“I’m really tired and anxious in the morning,” junior Kerra Valley said. “I would be fine with school starting an hour later. I’d be way more focused.”

Many said they would be more productive if they were not so sleep-deprived. Junior Logan Commerford said homework keeps him up until 11 p.m. 

Athletics also prevent students from getting enough sleep. After seven hours of school, athletes attend three hours of practice, meaning they don’t start homework until 8 p.m. 

“After cheer I usually still have homework to do,” Shyanne LeSage said. “I try to be in bed by 11:30 p.m. at the latest.”

But the math doesn’t add up. There are not enough hours in the day.

Screen-time also contributes to the problem of sleep-deprivation. Students spend late night on their phones or playing video games. Studies have also shown that the LED lights from the screens keep the mind awake longer than it should be, making it more difficult to fall asleep. 

Then there is the faculty of PA who wake even earlier than the students. 

School starts for the students at 7:20 a.m., some, who live as far as Lebanon, have about an hour commute to work, requiring them to wake even earlier. 

Ms. Gladdu, the secretary at Blanchard House, said she gets seven to eight hours of sleep but is normally up by 5 a.m. every morning. 

Guidance counselor Ms. Michaud said she’s not as alert in the morning. “I’m not as happy as I usually am,” she said. “I just feel groggy.” 

Still, many districts are reluctant to push back start times. 

“We’re an old, archaic, pre-industrial system of school and we’ve never come up to speed,” said Ms. Michaud. “I know some schools like Pittsfield tried it, and it was really effective. Students were more alert during the day.”

Additionally, most jobs in the “real world” begin until 9 a.m. If school is supposed to prepare students to enter the work force, pushing back start times make physical and practical sense.