- Biological sleep patterns shift as children grow up, and it is natural for teens to find it difficult to fall asleep before 11 p.m.
- Teens need about eight to 10 hours of sleep each night to function best.
- Most teens do not get enough sleep. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey in 2015 showed that 73 percent of U.S. high school students get less than eight hours of sleep on school nights. Forth-three percent reported getting six or fewer hours.
- Many teens suffer from treatable sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy, insomnia, restless legs syndrome or sleep apnea.
- And with more than 40 percent of public high schools starting class before 8 a.m., polls of teens show that a third of teens report falling asleep at their desks.
So why don’t middle and high schools face reality and push back start times for teens? Here’s a look at the issues around start times and the latest research about the benefits of allowing teens to start school later in the morning.
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