Can’t figure out why it’s so hard for your teenager to wake up feeling refreshed in the mornings? The problem may be due to the start time of their school; disallowing them to get enough sleep. Natural hormonal changes can make sleep difficult for students to obtain within the time available due to what time they need to get up for school. A new study suggests that by starting school 25 minutes later, more students would be able to get their necessary 8 or more hours of sleep every night.
197 students (they were, on average, 15 years old) participated in the study. During the school’s winter term, the start time was pushed back from 8 am to 8:25 am. The new school start time was linked to 44% of students getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night, compared to 18% with the old school start time. On average, students slept 29 minutes extra every night.
In addition to more sleep, the students displayed reduced daytime sleepiness and less depressive temperaments. Caffeine consumption also decreased.
During the school’s spring term, when the school start time returned to 8 am, the students overall improvements decreased back their original sleep times and moods.
Even though a National Sleep Foundation Poll conducted in 2002 showed that most people have a significant preference for school start times to be no earlier than 8 am, there are plenty of students struggling with school start times of 7:30 am.
Promote healthy sleep habits in your household as long as possible. Set a bedtime for everyone, including yourself, to demonstrate the importance of sleep. Not sure how much sleep your family should get every night? Find out here!