Too tired to learn?: Experts recommend later school starts

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February 12, 2015

Getting enough sleep can be challenging – especially for teenagers whose natural sleep patterns change as they go through adolescence. Lack of sleep increases the risks of health problems like obesity and depression and can also impact academic performance. To help teens get more sleep, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a statement in August 2014 recommending that middle and high schools start at 8:30 a.m. or later.

In response to the AAP’s recommendation, many schools across the country are considering delaying the start of school until 8:30 a.m. or later. But what do parents think about the idea of their teens’ schools starting later? We asked.

Next week, we’ll release the results from a National Poll on Children’s Health survey of parents of teenagers across the country. If you want to get the report as soon as it’s published, sign up for our mailing list and we’ll email you when it’s available.

What do you think?
Are you in favor of pushing back middle and high school start times? How would this change impact your family’s routine? Share your thoughts in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter @MottNPCH.

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Submitted by Cheryl Till on

I agree w/the AAP.  I have seen the effects of early start times on my students and my own children!  Teens walk around like zombies and should not be expected to be ready for instruction in the 7 a.m. hour!!  Parents that do not know the biology of teens wrongly equate their teens need for sleep w/laziness.  Such parents need to be informed and educated on the science.  We need to START HS LATER ~ we need healthy hours for our teens to function better @ school!


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