Pediatricians Argue For Later School Start Times

(Clemson University Library/Flickr)

A tired student sleeps in the library. (Clemson University Library/Flickr)

Many parents are familiar with the daily battle to wake up a sleepy teenager. Most middle schools across the country start at 8 a.m. and 40 percent of high schools begin before 8 a.m.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, that’s too early. In a powerful new policy statement issued today, the group calls for school start times to be pushed back to 8:30 a.m. or later. They argue that lack of sleep causes a host of physical and mental health problems in teens and diminishes their academic performance.

“The research is clear,” said the academy. “Delaying early school start times is one key factor that can help adolescents get the sleep they need to grow and learn.”


Carey Goldberg, co-host of WBUR’s CommonHealth blog. She tweets @commonhealth.


CommonHealth: Pediatricians: Middle And High School Should Start No Earlier Than 8:30 AM

  • “It’s one of the great joys of early parenthood: Finally being able to sleep until a reasonable hour — say, 6 a.m. Then, before you know it, you’re facing the opposite problem: Homeroom is just half an hour away, and your tween or teen remains an immovable lump beneath the covers.”

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