If College Classes Start Late, So Can We

When Governor Newsom addresses student lack of sleep, he takes the issue into his own hands.


A student falls asleep in class from not getting enough sleep the night before. (Photo Courtesy of Adalie Landa)

Adalie Landa, Staff Writer

The problem of students not getting enough sleep has risen due to how early they wake up to go to school. This issue was addressed by Governor Newsom and the American Academy of Pediatrics who signed a law that stated that starting in the school year of 2022-2023, “the law will take effect over a phased-in period, ultimately requiring public middle schools to begin classes at 8 a.m. or later while high schools will start no earlier than 8:30 a.m” (Los Angeles Times). Zero periods do not count, so it releases opportunities for students to take a zero period if they wish. The reason why they are allowing students to sleep in is because the lack of sleep results in “increased risk for car crashes, delinquent behaviors, depression, and psychological stress,” says Judith A. Owens. The Los Angeles Times also says that California will be the first state in the country to push back school start times for students. By going to school later, students can get involved and participate in classes more easily because of the extra sleep and will increase their ability of performing well on quizzes and tests, and even classwork.

 Although this is to help students with getting more sleep, the National Sleep Foundation has found that even though the school start times will be extended, kids will still have the problem of feeling exhausted or falling asleep in class. They conducted an experiment on tenth graders and found out that some students showed the sleeping patterns of someone with narcolepsy, which is a condition where people fall asleep under relaxing surroundings. Even though none of the students had narcolepsy, “they did have a mismatch between their school day waking times and their circadian rhythms. Indeed, at 8:30 in the morning, they fell asleep within three minutes.” Even though the students were waking up later in the morning, they still resulted in going to bed late at night and feeling exhausted because they are not getting the right amount of sleep which is not healthy for them. Whether this will happen with all students or just these students is not yet to be determined. But what we do know is that just setting an alarm to go to bed an hour earlier can affect your entire day.