Science Just Backed Up My Biggest Beef With School: It Started Way Too F*cking Early

by 5 years ago

Olesya Feketa /

A study published in the American Academy of Pediatrics has corroborated what we’ve all known for decades: school starts too early. The study found that the average school in America starts at 8:03am, and that doesn’t allow for the recommended 8 hours and 30 minutes of sleep per night (kids/teens require more than the 8 hours of sleep an adult requires).

As USA Today reports, school are now being urged to start significantly later than they already are:

The American Academy of Pediatrics last year urged middle schools and high schools to start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. in order to allow teens — who are biologically programmed to stay up later at night than adults — to get the recommended 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep each night.

But 83% of schools do start before 8:30 a.m., according to a study released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The average start time for 39,700 public middle schools, high schools and combined schools was 8:03 a.m., based on data from the 2011-2012 school year.

School systems have debated whether to delay school start times for years. Many parents have asked schools to start later, arguing that their teens have trouble waking up early enough to get to school by 7:30 a.m., let alone learn.

“It makes absolutely no sense,” said physician M. Safwan Badr, a past president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “You’re asking kids to learn math at a time their brains are not even awake.”

For my entire life I’ve been telling people that I require more sleep than the average human being. When I was a kid my parents told me I’d grow out of it, when I was in elementary, middle, and high school the teachers said I would adjust. Aside from becoming a blogger and setting my own hours, I’ve never adjusted.

I’m quite a few Adult Spring Breaks removed from my days in school, but it’s nice to know that there’s now at least scientific evidence to back up all my misery over the years. Any teacher or administrator campaigning to keep the ridiculously early school hours needs to loser their jobs, like yesterday.