Here’s the statement from the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine:
During adolescence, internal circadian rhythms and biological sleep drive change to result in later sleep and wake times. As a result of these changes, early middle school and high school start times curtail sleep, hamper a student’s preparedness to learn, negatively impact physical and mental health, and impair driving safety. Furthermore, a growing body of evidence shows that delaying school start times positively impacts student achievement, health, and safety. Public awareness of the hazards of early school start times and the benefits of later start times are largely unappreciated. As a result, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine is calling on communities, school boards, and educational institutions to implement start times of 8:30 AM or later for middle schools and high schools to ensure that every student arrives at school healthy, awake, alert, and ready to learn.
Of course, schools have many reasons not to make this change: bus schedules, sports schedules, parent schedules, perhaps lunar eclipse schedules.
But in the face of the mounting evidence, all these reasons sound like excuses. Schools exist to help students learn; at many schools, our daily schedule inhibits their learning. We can, and should, solve this problem.[h/t Brad Choyt, Crossroads Academy]