A newly published study used activity monitors to track how sleep habits changed in younger and older teens as they grew during a two-year period. Key findings, for instance that the children fell asleep later as they matured and resisted sleep longer after the nightly onset of hormonal sleep signals, lend new support to recent recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics that middle and high schools avoid starting earlier than 8:30 a.m.
If school starts early in the morning and adolescent physiology naturally produces later bedtimes, the inevitable result is less sleep. A new study adds to the case for later school start times for middle and high school students.
Credit: Mike Cohea/Brown University
In addition to Carskadon and Crowley, the paper’s other authors are Eliza Van Reen, Christine Acebo, Leila Tarokh, Ronald Seifer, and David Barker of Brown and the Bradley Hospital; and Monique LeBourgeois of the University of Colorado.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism supported the research.