An Extra Half-Hour of Sleep? An Extra Hour?


If you’ve ever met a teenager, you might be skeptical about the idea of starting high-school classes later. After all, you might worry that they’ll just stay up later. They are, after all, teenagers…

What does research on high school start time say?

According to a recent study done by Penn State researchers, you needn’t worry. Later high-school start times do in fact translate into more sleep.

Specifically: students whose first class started later than 8:30 got between 27 and 57 (!) more minutes of sleep. Imagine just how much more learning might happen if a teen regularly got an extra hour of sleep.

The researchers based these conclusions on sleep diaries that lasted only a week; I’d be more persuaded if they had data from a longer period of time.

However, this finding does echo a conclusion that I reported on back in April. Given these converging data–and, frankly, common sense–I’m inclined to believe that later start times really do help students get more sleep.

tags: / category: L&B Blog

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