One school district near Detroit, Michigan is jumping to a later start time for high schoolers. Research has shown that most teens naturally go to sleep later and wake up later than younger children. The natural sleep rhythms of adolescents shift up two hours later after the start of puberty, experts say.
This is what lots of parents knew even before the research.
Lynn Stannard often notices her daughter sleeping late at night despite the start of class just hours away. She is the mother of 14 years-old, Abby Hutchinson, who attends Berkley High School. She said sometimes when she is up in the middle of the night, her daughter is up too. When she finds her up at those hours, she tells her to go to bed.
Michigan Defies Usual School Plans
Majority of public schools in the country expect teens to be in high school classrooms before dawn.
High school students who attend Oakland County’s Berkley School District will be able to hit the snooze button for 40 more minutes after school officials moved the start of first-hour from 7.40 a.m. to 8.20 a.m.
The idea of starting the school year has been studied by the district for a year. Clinical research shows that a later start time has lots of benefits for teen students. One of them is fewer teen accidents and the lower rate of depression.
The change was approved late last month by the board of education. This change will increase the student’s achievements and make students healthier at no additional cost.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend high schools to start at 8.30 a.m. or later to give teens time for sufficient sleep.
Meanwhile, 10 percent of U.S. high schools start the school day before 7.30 a.m., 35.8 percent before 8 a.m. and 40.4 percent before 8.30 a.m., according to the National Center for Education Statistics data from 2015-2016.
We all have to agree it’s challenging to get up early for children. Children of the ages 6 to 12 need between nine and 12 hours of sleep a night, while teenagers 13 to 18 need eight to 10 hours.
Children are very happy to get extra time for morning sleep.