More than 80 school districts around the country have decided to start their high school days later, in an effort to aid sleepy teenagers:
Most high schools begin their day around 7:30 a.m., which leaves many teenagers nodding off in the morning. In fact, at least 20 percent of high school students fall asleep in class on a typical day. The problem: Teenagers need a lot of sleep — about nine hours each night, experts say. And most of them aren’t getting enough.
To help sleepy teens, some school districts have tried delaying the opening of the high school day. Educational researcher Kyla Wahlstrom, from the University of Minnesota, has been following districts that changed their start times, tracking the effect on schools and students. The Minneapolis school district, for example, changed its start time from 7:20 to 8:40 a.m., giving its 12,000 high schoolers an extra hour and twenty minutes each morning. Wahlstrom says the students have benefited from the change.
What exactly will this change accomplish? Educational researcher Kyla Wahlstrom, from the University of Minnesota says:
“Students reported less depression when there was a later starting time. And teachers reported that students were more alert and ready for learning. Parents reported that their children were easier to live with because their emotions were more regulated.”
Additionally, Wahlstrom found a decrease in the number of students who were dropping out of school or moving from school to school.
If a student is dropping out due to lack of sleep, aren’t they already a pretty helpless cause? What ever happened to getting to bed earlier? Buy a Serta and suck it up.