Saturday, February 11, 2012


No, not this. 

Although it is adorable.

There’s been talk in my home town about switching the school times so the middle and high schools started later and the elementary schools start earlier. Whether or not this is feasible is being debated in the town, but my own reaction was “That would have been soooo awesome if it happened when I was still in school.”

Unfortunately for anyone longing for extra time to sleep in, there are a variety of reasons it might not work. Some are understandable, like how it may push after school practices too late and whether or not students will just end up staying up later, thus negating the whole extra sleep thing. But there are other reasons that are just plain rude. One man claimed parents were coddling their children and refusing to make them get up early like in the “real world.”

I hate the “real world” argument. The whole thing smacks of prejudice. Not every job makes you get up at six a.m. A nurse working the swing shift doesn’t have to get up early. Neither does a writer who works from home. Or a stay-at-home parent whose sleep schedule revolves around a child’s. Do these people not live in the “real world” just because they aren’t the majority?

When I was a teenager, I preferred sleeping until noon and staying up well past midnight. Getting up to go to school was painful for me. It’s not like I didn’t try to sleep more (that is, going to bed earlier) but at the time, I was plagued with pretty bad insomnia. If I went to bed at eleven, I was lucky if I got to sleep at midnight. There were nights that I tossed and turned until two, three, even four in the morning and then I had to trudge to school. Which I did every day, and worked hard for good grades. Same goes for college. Not very lazy for someone who slept past noon on occasion.

So I really don’t like it when people automatically associate late sleeping with laziness. Now I sleep at times that are considered “normal”, but that doesn’t mean I work any more or less hard than someone who stays up until four a.m. and then sleeps until noon.

What say you? What do you think of late sleepers? And what do you think of later school start times for older kids?


  1. A couple years ago I saw something on the Discovery Channel or TLC about body clocks. (I saw a couple similarly-themed shows at the same time, so I might be mixing up details.) In it, they talked about how people functioned at different times of the day. There was a whole segment on teens and their body clocks.

    Teenagers' body clocks are messed up. And this has nothing to do with anything but biology. They stay up late and sleep late due to the changes going on in their bodies.

    Anyway, the show followed teens at a school somewhere in Great Britain that follows a later school day. I think they started at like 11 AM and ended at 5. They talked to the students, and they seemed to be doing better (test scores up and the like). Rather than fighting the teens' natural body rhythms, the school worked with them.

    When I read your post, I thought of that doc. "Real world"? Lazy? No. It's hard to fight your body's natural rhythms even when the world is telling you you must.

  2. This line had me thinking:

    One man claimed parents were coddling their children and refusing to make them get up early like in the “real world.”

    Said man, of course, is probably the same sort who sits on his front porch and growls "get off my lawn."

    On the one hand, parents do coddle their kids too much, and on the other, there might well be something to the notion that high school aged kids' physiology is so out of whack that even an hour's shift forward would help.

    As to me, I refrain from taking any class before ten in the morning...

  3. I can absolutely relate to all of your sleep experiences. I have never been a morning person (I struggle every single morning to get out of bed on time, the snooze button rings in our house more than the telephone) but I have also consistently suffered from insomnia. I do my best writing late at night and that is also when I have the most energy (random house cleaning, drawer organizing, etc.), which is so completely incompatible with my life! I hope this straightens out when I have kids. If not, I will just live life really tired!

  4. I've only had one job in the "real world" that started earlier than my high school... and that was Chick-fil-A, which I'm sure Mr. Grumpypants would not consider a real job. (I know I didn't!)

    Quite frankly, schools need to do what is best for the majority of their students. If starting later works better logistically (I'm sure the teachers would like some extra time to get their own kids where they need to go, yes?), then why not do it? As for coddling-- most of the college-bound students are going to choose later-starting schedules on purpose when they start higher education. Which is also before they enter the "real world". So that doesn't really work, IMO.

    And finally: I wish my high school had started later, too. The local secondary schools started @ 7:45 & the primaries started at 8:15. In order for all the younger set to get to school on time, the bus came for me at 6:35. It sucked.

  5. Ah, I remember the days of falling asleep in class. Lol. They don't cater to late sleepers. I'm still not, but I was a good student :)

  6. I'm a sloth and proud of it. I like to sleep in when I can. If I could every day, I would but work calls. I do sleep in on Saturdays and feel a bit lazy but I don't have to get to work so I do. It is my free day to do what I'd like. So, I will sleep in if I want to. So there "real world."

    Well, just want to let you know you've been tagged on my blog. Here's the link:

    Happy question answering!


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