We asked readers whether they would support a later start time for high school students, to accommodate their sleep rhythms. Here’s what you had to say.
Yes. I have always wondered why we give youth at this age tons and tons of homework and then wonder, besides all the other things they have to do after school, why they are tired in the morning. We are only conditioning them to work overtime with no compensation and to devalue self-care — which starts with a good night’s sleep.
— Crystal Brown, St. Louis Park
Yes! Lack of sleep is linked to obesity, not to mention trouble concentrating. Younger children are naturally earlier risers (in general) and adolescents catch up in the morning. It doesn’t make sense to not pay attention to something as simple as this that would make so much difference in the quality of children’s lives.
— Kathy Oaks, St. Paul
Yes, that way they don’t have so much time to get in trouble in the afternoon before the parents get home!
— Brenda Martin, Champlin
Nope. We should prepare them for life after high school which means working or college… they are old enough to learn to go to bed to take care of themselves.
— Lynn McKinlay, Eden Prairie
Definitely. The science clearly shows that kids’ sleep patterns shift later in adolescence. Why fight biology and risk poor performance (not to mention misery) when there’s an easy solution?
— Emily Sohn, Minneapolis
No. Many students have after school commitments and a later start time will interfere.
— Mitsy Lutz, Eagan
No, I believe that the later you sleep the more tired you actually become or are when you get up. Getting up early is really important so that adolescents learn that if you get up early you may feel a little tired but taking a shower and eating a good breakfast will make you feel like conquering the world. It also is important to teach high school kids that when they eventually reach the time when they enter the workforce, their companies aren’t going to hand out accommodations for individual sleeping patterns.
— Michelle Cody, Chaska
No, I do not believe that they should start high school later. I believe children should be in school at least nine hours as well. Our education system and its accommodations are allowing our children to be lazy where their education is concerned.
— Kara Woods, St. Paul
Yes. The kids in our neighborhood have to get on the bus at 7 a.m. Way too early!
— Donna Krouss, Golden Valley
If the studies show that adolescents need more sleep, then schools should accommodate this to enable a better learning environment.
— Corinna Hastings, Blaine
Yes. I believe that kids get burnt out with all of the homework and extra curricular activities.
— Stephanie Naughton, Hudson
No, high school is a precursor to college, then the workplace. They need to get in the habit of going to bed, getting up and organizing their time. They’re not babies anymore!
— Monica Jones, Prior Lake
If a child’s learning can be enhanced by starting school later in the day, then I do think the timing should be moved out. As parents, we need to give children every opportunity to learn and thrive.
— Jill Petitt, St. Paul
Yes. Why fight nature? Teen physiological development would indicate that their collective “biorhythm” would be to start late — so start later to give them a better fighting chance. Seems like a “no brainer.”
— Julie Friedman, Minneapolis
Weigh in on holiday gift giving: How much is too much/too little when it comes to gifts? Email your thoughts to [email protected], for an upcoming issue.