Benefits of starting school later in the day include an improvement in the academic performance of students, better safety for those heading to school and a lower level of exhaustion throughout the day. Numerous scientific studies have concluded that bumping back the start time of schools by even thirty minutes can greatly improve various aspects of student life.
One of the best pieces of evidence supporting schools starting later is based on teen brain biology. Teens have a different body clock than adults, causing them to be predisposed to stay up later and thus wake up later. When this predisposition is combined with standard social situations, teenagers are likely to get less than seven hours a sleep each night to wake up on time for school.
Most professionals recommend teenagers get between 8.5 and 9.5 hours of sleep each night. Less sleep than this can tardiness, obesity, higher school drop-out rates and even an increased number of car accidents. In terms of maximizing student performance in the classroom, increased levels of sleep have been found to directly correlate to student success and performance. Because of the increased evidence supporting the importance of sleep, many schools have been bumping back their start times.