Pediatricians Suggest Later School Start Times

By Ian Hoover- 21Alive

Pediatricians Suggest Later School Start Times

August 25, 2014 Updated Aug 25, 2014 at 11:38 AM EDT

CHICAGO, Ill. (21Alive) -- The American Academy of Pediatrics is suggesting schools start later in the day to better fit within the natural sleep cycle of students.

AAP says that teens have a biological sleep rhythm that makes it hard for them to go to sleep before 11 p.m. and most schools start around 7:30. This makes it nearly impossible to get the recommended 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep each night.

This launched AAP to issue a new policy statement on August 25th suggesting that schools move back their start times to 8:30 in order to accommodate the natural sleep cycle of teens.

“Chronic sleep loss in children and adolescents is one of the most common – and easily fixable – public health issues in the U.S. today,” said pediatrician Judith Owens, MD, FAAP, in a statement released Monday.

According to the AAP, a recent poll shows that 87% of high school students get less than the recommended amount sleep on school nights.

Researchers argue that allowing for more sleep will increase student academic performance and reduce the chances of students suffering from depression or being overweight.

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