The AAP may also agree with your teenager's regular cry for "5 more minutes" of sleep!
Your teenagers may plead each morning for a few more extra minutes of sleep; and the reason for this breaks down to science! The typical eight hours of week a night may not even be valid anymore according to the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP), and schools may want to consider starting school later to improve overall performance. Scientific studies done on sleep and the amount needed have been done all over the world recently, trying to figure out what amount of sleep is best for a more productive day.
The AAP released a report that recommends pushing back the time teens start school. Dr. Judith Owens, from Children's National Medical Center, who is one of the leads on the report stated, "The evidence is clearly mounting both in terms of understanding the repercussions that chronic sleep loss has on the health, safety and performance of adolescents, and there is also really solid compelling data supporting the fact that delaying school start times is a very important intervention that an mitigate some of the impact of sleep loss."
Pediatrics, the Academy's Adolescent Sleep Working Group, looked over previous studies involving sleep deprivation in teens, anything less than 8.5 hours on school days, and concluded serious health issues with it. Obesity, behavior problems, diabetes, mood changes, are just a few of the potential issues that could come from a sleep deprived child.
The Wall Street Journal also reviewed that caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol becomes more relevant in kids who do not receive enough sleep. Which was finally concluded that by pushing back the start time of schools until at least 8:30 could be very beneficial to fighting sleep deprivation and boosting children's health.
The AAP studied adolescent sleep to find that puberty biologically wires teens to stay up late and wake up later, which concludes that forcing your child to go to bed earlier will not do any good toward getting the full sleep amount.
Dr. Mary Carskadon, Brown University Medical School, found that, "It doesn't change how much sleep they need, but it makes it easier for them to stay awake longer."
87% of high school students do not get the recommended 9 hours of sleep according to National Sleep Foundation poll done in 2006. Which would also connect to why high school students, if applicable, choose to have first period off for more beneficial sleep.
The Wall Street Journal also released that some schools are starting votes on later start times due to this study, including the Fairfax Count School Board.