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School Start Times

Get the Facts on the School Start Time Movement

Health advocates are pushing districts to move the first bell later for adolescents. Improving kids’ school performance isn’t just about rigorous classes and great teachers—helping them get quality sleep may actually be even more important. That’s especially true for adolescents, whose internal body clocks are different from those of younger kids. Kids’ circadian rhythm changes as they mature—when they’re teens,  secretion begins later at night and shuts off later in the morning. That makes it harder for high schoolers to go to bed early and wake up at dawn. The problem: Traditional school schedules, which often have adolescents beginning classes as early as 7:00am, are at odds with this later circadian rhythm…

Early School Start Times and Childhood Development

Why scientists want your kids to sleep in If early weekday mornings are a battlefield at your house, it may come as no surprise that what time kids have to wake up for school is a hot topic among researchers and educators alike. Administrative concerns (such as a resistance to changing complicated and expensive busing schedules and a reluctance to pushing back sports practices—which could result in purchasing field lights) often lead to middle- and high schoolers leaving home before dawn. The result: Early school starts translate to teens getting just seven hours of sleep a night, which is far short of the nine-plus that’s recommended for that age range. And these early wakeups…