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Posts Tagged ‘students and sleep’

In the News: Teens Need More Sleep

Sleeping Teen

Photo by sampsyo on Foter.com / CC BY

Do you see teens who appear to be sleepwalking to their first-hour classes? Are students sprawling across their desks in your classes, struggling to keep their eyes open? It’s easy to blame these symptoms of sleep deprivation on staying up too late or too much screen time, but public health officials instead say the cause is early school start times.

The issue of school start times is being debated around the country. In California, the State Assembly is nearing a vote on a bill that would require middle and high schools to start no earlier than 8:30 a.m.

Studies by the American Academy of Pediatrics show that sleep-deprived teens have a greater risk of being overweight, suffering depression, and being involved in automobile accidents, and those that get enough sleep have better grades, higher standardized test scores and a better quality of life.

Certainly, switching to a later school start time will create problems in scheduling school buses, after-school activities, and sporting events. But it could also reduce tardiness and absenteeism.

School Start Times & Students' Sleep

School Start Times & Students’ Sleep (Credit: CDC)

So do the benefits of a later school start time outweigh the inconvenience it may cause for administrators and parents? The debate is sure to continue. You and your students can follow the debate with the latest articles in ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher:

The Economic Case for Letting Teenagers Sleep a Little Later

New Instructions at High Schools: Take a Nap

Why Letting Teens Sleep in Could Save Lives

SIRS Issues Researcher is a pro/con database that helps students understand today’s controversial political issues with editorially selected analysis and opinions that cover the entire spectrum of viewpoints.

Don’t have SIRS Issues Researcher? Free trials are available.