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Kids Want To Sleep In? They May Be On To Something

on August 18, 2017 - 7:41am
American Academy of Pediatrics recommends middle and high schools start at 8:30 a.m. or later. Courtesy image​
CDC News:
Starting school later can help adolescents get enough sleep and improve their health, academic performance, and quality of life.
Not getting enough sleep is common among high school students and is associated with several health risks including being overweight, drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, and using drugs, as well as poor academic performance.
One of the reasons adolescents do not get enough sleep is early school start times.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that middle and high schools start at 8:30 a.m. or later to give students the opportunity to get the amount of sleep they need, but most American adolescents start school too early.
According to the 2014 School Health Policies and Practices Study, 93 percent of high schools and 83 percent of middle schools in the U.S. start before 8:30 a.m. According to an earlier CDC study that analyzed U.S. Department of Education data from the 2011-2012 school year:
  • 42 states reported that most (75 percent-100 percent) public middle and high schools started before 8:30 a.m.; and
  • Adequate sleep enables improved academic performance. 
Adolescents and Sleep

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends teenagers aged 13 to 18 years should regularly sleep 8 to 10 hours per day for good health. Adolescents who do not get enough sleep are more likely to:

  • Be overweight;
  • Not engage in daily physical activity;
  • Suffer from symptoms of depression;
  • Engage in unhealthy risk behaviors such as drinking, smoking tobacco and using illicit drugs; and
  • Perform poorly in school.
During puberty, adolescents become sleepy later at night and need to sleep later in the morning as a result in shifts in biological rhythms. These biological changes are often combined with poor sleep habits (including irregular bedtimes and the presence of electronics in the bedroom).
During the school week, school start times are the main reason students wake up when they do. The combination of late bedtimes and early school start times results in most adolescents not getting enough sleep.