Schools Should Start Later Say US Pediatricians
August 25, 2014
Middle and high schools should start later say the American Academy of Pediatrics. In a policy statement put out today by the organization, the Academy called on schools with students from the age of 10 and above to start no earlier than 8:30 AM. This is being done for health and safety reasons in order to ensure teens get enough sleep.
According to the Academy, teen sleep cycles naturally shift and it’s nearly impossible for the average teen to get to sleep earlier than 10:30 PM. Teens also need more sleep for their developing bodies. Schools that start too early prevent teens from getting a full night’s sleep. Only 15 percent of the nation’s schools start at 8:30 or later and 40 percent start earlier than 8:00 AM. A poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation showed that 59 percent of middle school and 87 percent of high school students get the recommended amount of sleep each night.
We wrote on this subject back in 2010 in an article titled: School Start Times Related To Teen Crash Rate. Studies at that time showed that teens in schools that start too early have a higher crash rate and don’t perform as well academically compared to teens in school districts that start later.
The Academy of Pediatrics called on parents to start a dialogue with their local school boards to push for later start times. Read more: Pediatricians Say School Should Start Later For Teens’ Health