If you are the parent of a teen(s) you've heard them grumbling and complaining and dragging themselves out of bed, with true suffering every school morning!!! And there is no doubt that due to text messaging, and computer time and homework and after school acitivities AND partying on the weekend (sometimes) - teens are tired. Well according to a recent journal article in the Journal of Sleep Medicine, after a one-hour delay of school start times, teens increased their average nightly sleep time and decreased their "weekend catch up time" AND they were involved in fewer automobile accidents.
This study that tested out the theory - how will starting school an hour later affect teen sleep? - and it showed that participants in grade nine increased sleep by 12 minutes, while seniors in 12th grade increased their sleep duration by 30 minutes. The average number of participants who increased their sleep duration per night to now average 8 hours of sleep? It went up from 35.7% before the study to 50% during the study. Daytime sleepiness decreased and teen auto crashes in the state (Kansas) decreased by 7.8% over the course of this study.
The authors of the study point out that a number of issues seem to play a part in teens sleeping less. Changing school times so that school starts later might be one solution that would help counter balance the sleep challenges that teens face. It would clearly, based on this study, make the roads safer for all of us.
Published On: December 19, 2008