PRO: Better sleep schedules

Waking up at 6:00 a.m. to a grouchy and exhausting morning isn’t exactly the ideal way to start the school day. But luckily for students at Diamond Bar High School this year, the new mandated start times signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom allow them to stay in bed for an additional thirty minutes. 

Pushing the school start time later will benefit students both physically and mentally—especially as the school year progressively gets more hectic. As a junior taking AP classes and many extracurriculars, even this early in the year, I’ve struggled to get the right amount of sleep. Most of my time is dedicated to sporting events and the clubs I’ve joined, so I often get home late without having started any homework yet, leading me to stay up late. 

While some students are held late into the night by homework, others might have delayed rest due to their circadian rhythms—a natural process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. According to “Better Health Channel,” teens stay up later due to hormones that shift their rhythms of sleep—causing issues such as drowsiness and a lack of focus during school. But with extra time to sleep, students can get more rest and better adjust their circadian rhythms to allow them to be more engaged with lessons. 

As said before, lack of sleep can physically damage a person’s body. It can lead to many chronic health problems in the future such as heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, obesity, and depression. Sleep deficiency can also lead to a higher chance of being injured. 

According to the “National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute,” since we’re reaching the age to drive, sleepiness could increase the risk of getting into serious car accidents. It can also cause students to be unaware of their surroundings and end up injuring themselves. Such as tripping while walking up the stairs, or crashing into other people because of lack of awareness. 

 Moreover, DBHS is home to a highly competitive peer environment with many students stressed from their endeavors. If students are in a better mood and less stressed, their brains will be prepared for learning new topics. In fact, according to an article from PubMed Central, students who receive less than eight hours of sleep tend to have lower grades than those who slept the advised eight hours. This highlights the importance of sleep in maintaining student performance and is definitely one of the foremost reasons why the change in school schedule is beneficial for students. 

Furthermore, with this new system in place, students could very well amass fewer tardies, benefiting both them and the school. According to a study conducted by the University of Minnesota in 2021, it was noted that teens who attended a school with later start times reported having less tardies, so this can bring a positive impact to DBHS campus. 

With a later starting time, DBHS students can be more concentrated in class and help lower rates of missed attendance. The new bell schedule is not just an extra thirty minutes of sleep, it’s a lifestyle change that allows students to develop better study habits.