Impact of delaying school start time on adolescent sleep, mood, and behavior.

Does a later start time mean that students will get more sleep? Study after study says YES THEY WILL. This study, in 2010 found that moving start time from 8:00am to 8:30am meant that the mean sleep duration INCREASED BY 45 MINUTES. When you think about it, it’s obvious: by aligning the school hours with the normal, healthy, sleep hours of adolescents, teens are able to finally get the rest their bodies need so that they can be ready for school. The author writes:

“After the start time delay [from 8:00am to 8:30am], mean school night sleep duration increased by 45 minutes, and average bedtime advanced by 18 minutes (95% confidence interval, 7-29 minutes [t423 = 3.36; P < .001]); the percentage of students getting less than 7 hours of sleep decreased by 79.4%, and those reporting at least 8 hours of sleep increased from 16.4% to 54.7%. Students reported significantly more satisfaction with sleep and experienced improved motivation. Daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and depressed mood were all reduced. Most health-related variables, including Health Center visits for fatigue-related complaints, and class attendance also improved.”

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