This week, the American Medical Association (AMA) joined the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in calling for an 8:30am start time (or later) for middle and high schools.
The new policy is one of many recommendations that school start times should be pushed back. According to the new AMA policy, teens are hardwired to stay up later than young children and adults are, a natural shift in hormones that starts and subsides with puberty. Because teens physically have trouble falling asleep before 11 p.m., the AMA decided schools should start later so they can get the recommended amount of sleep.
Last week, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine released guidelines that show teens should be getting eight to 10 hours of sleep each night or face serious health risk like an increased likelihood for car crashes, obesity and depression. The AMA policy doubles down on that sentiment.
“Sleep deprivation is a growing public health issue affecting our nation’s adolescents, putting them at risk for mental, physical and emotional distress and disorders,” Dr. William Kobler, an AMA board member, said, according to the Huffington Post. “Scientific evidence strongly suggests that allowing adolescents more time for sleep at the appropriate hours results in improvements in health, academic performance, behavior, and general well-being.”
See more at Even DOCTORS Think School Should Start Later