Many teens understand the harsh reality of having to sacrifice sleep to study or do other schoolwork, this greatly compounds the problem of sleep deprivation if the teen already isn’t getting enough sleep, and they usually aren’t. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teens need about eight to ten hours of sleep every night to be able to function properly without damaging their bodies, although on average, teens are only getting around seven to eight hours of sleep.
One school district tried to make it easier for their students to get adequate amounts of sleep by pushing back start times almost an hour later, at the start of the 2016-2017 school year, the Seattle School District pushed back the start time of the middle and high schools in hopes to increase the amount of sleep students were getting.
And a year later when they checked in with the students, they found that they were correct in assuming teens would be able to get more sleep if they didn’t have to be to school so early. “They found students got 34 minutes more sleep on average with the later school start time. This boosted their total nightly sleep from 6 hours and 50 minutes to 7 hours and 24 minutes.” (Morning Addition, NPR Radio)
If more school districts were able to adapt to the needs of kids and push back start times, students sleep patterns could begin to correct themselves thus increasing the health and wellbeing of students. Pushing back start times could also help students with handling mental health issues and the normal stress and anxiety of being a teen, this could create an overall more positive environment for learning and education.
Neighmond, Patti, 12/12/18, “Sleepless No More In Seattle-Later School Start Time pays Off For Teens”, https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/12/12/676118782/sleepless-no-more-in-seattle-later-school-start-time-pays-off-for-teens, 11/19/19
Author: Tori P