With school starting soon that means that most of us students have to adjust our sleeping schedules quite a lot and prepare for an earlier start to the day. This can often lead to us feeling extremely tired at school.But is it necessary to push back school starting hours and could it be happening in the near future?

Studies conducted by experts show that teens need between 8-10 hours of sleep which a lot of students don’t get because of many factors such as hormonal shifts which causes their body to clock forward by about one or two hours, making them feel sleepier one to two hours later than they normally would. Another cause is a teenager's busy schedule often consisting of homework and revision for tests as well as after school clubs and other commitments. Not getting enough sleep can provoke a teenager’s brain to be more active which makes it harder for them to fall asleep leading to a cycle of sleep deprivation. Betterhealth  (an Australian government website) listed many of the effects that sleep deprivation has on a teenager's life and how it affects different factors of their school life including performance in class. It shows that sleep deprivation can create concentration difficulties, shortened attention span and lack of enthusiasm. It can also affect their work outside of the classroom by causing memory impairment affecting their test results and homework . As well as this it can also increase the number of ‘sick days’ from school because of tiredness and mental health problems such as depression which sleep deprivation is often a causal factor for. But it can also have an impact on their performance not just academically but also physically by causing slower physical reflexes affecting their performance in sports.

So what are people doing about this? Well there was a petition on the parliament’s website (which has now been closed) with over 187,000 signatures signed. The parliament debated this topic  in February 2019 , later in March 2019 they responded by saying that “The Department has no plans to require secondary schools to start later. The decision on when to start the school day lies with individual schools.”. Saying that the government has given all schools the ability to set their own school hours and there are no specific legal requirements for how long the school day should be. So your school is the one that chooses whether to start later and the government can’t control it as of now.

So it looks like most  schools aren’t ready to change their school hours yet, but could this change in the next couple of years? Most students hope so.

By Anna Antonenko, Newstead Wood School