This is why sleep experts think high school needs to start later

The science is in: Teenagers need more sleep. As such, experts have issued a recommendation that middle and high schools start later in the day.

For teens to get enough zzzs during the week, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends classes should begin no earlier than 8:30 a.m.

“Early school start times make it difficult for adolescents to get sufficient sleep on school nights, and chronic sleep loss among teens is associated with a host of problems, including poor school performance, increased depressive symptoms, and motor vehicle accidents, Dr. Nathaniel Watson, former AASM president and guideline author, wrote in a statement.


If you think sleeping isn’t a big deal for teens, think again: According to the National Sleep Foundation, teens who get the least shut-eye have the highest rate of depression, hopelessness, and general anxiety. 

“Starting school at 8:30 a.m. or later gives teens a better opportunity to get the sufficient sleep they need to learn and function at their highest level, Watson said.

To be honest, we think teachers might enjoy a later start to their day as well.

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