Sleep Medicine Group: Adolescents' School Day Should Not Start Before 8:30 A.M. — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
April 18, 2017

Sleep Medicine Group: Adolescents' School Day Should Not Start Before 8:30 A.M.

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, in a new position statement, says the school day for middle and high school students should begin at 8:30 a.m. or later.

Earlier school start times work against adolescents' natural circadian rhythms, the group says, which cuts their sleep short and leads to chronic sleep deprivation. Such sleep loss, in turn, has been associated with poor academic performance, obesity, metabolic dysfunction, and depressive symptoms, among other outcomes.

"Starting school at 8:30 a.m. or later gives teens a better opportunity to get the sufficient sleep they need to learn and function at their highest level," the statement's lead author said in a press release. The AASM recommends that teens sleep 8–10 hours per night.

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