The Argument for Later School Start Times

Early school starts are contributing to chronic sleep loss in teens.

Posted Mar 29, 2015

According to a report in the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) journal Pediatrics, teens and young adults in the U.S. are suffering from chronic sleep loss.  The AAP states that this sleep loss is due to early school start times, electronics use, caffeine use, and academic pressure.  In addition, biological sleep changes occur with puberty.

The AAP states that a chronic loss of sleep in teens and young adults increases rates of depression and obesity.  Chronic loss of sleep in this younger population also increases the rate of car accidents due to daytime sleepiness, and interferes with the body's circadian rhythm.  Circadian rhythm is your body's "clock" - the way you change physically and emotionally over a period of 24 hours. 

In another Pediatrics report, the AAP states that early school times are a contributing factor to chronic sleep loss in teens and young adults, and later school start times can counteract this problem.  The AAP recommends that schools start no earlier than 8:30am.  With later school start times, teens and young adults are more likely to get the recommended 8.5-9.5 hours of sleep a night. 

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