Research from 1980 forward has shown that teenagers require adequate time for sleep.
Learning and thinking improve for teens who get a good night’s sleep. Yet schools still start early in the day, average teens staying up later, and teen learning and behavior are impacted negatively.
The body needs sleep, and teens have been shown to require lots of sleep. When teens do not get enough rest at night, they can end up in a kind of sleepy haze when they are supposed to be learning.
In addition to sleepiness throughout the day, this lack of sleep on school nights often leads to extra sleeping on the weekends to make up the loss.
Multiple studies by researchers, including a Dr. Mary A. Carskadon, have added significantly to what has been known for hundreds of years about circadian rhythm, a 24 hour cycle of biological adjustments affecting sleeping, rising, and other natural reactions. School start times, evaluated in the studies, are considered “environmental constraints”, and were often not on the teens’ natural sleep/wake cycle.
Issue date: Oct 25–Nov 7, 2013