Pediatricians have a new prescription for schools: later start times for teens.
Delaying the start of the school day until at least 8:30 a.m. would help curb their lack of sleep, which has been linked with poor health, bad grades, car crashes and other problems, the American Academy of Pediatrics says in a new policy.
The influential group says teens are especially at risk; for them, “chronic sleep loss has increasingly become the norm.”
Studies have found that most U.S. students in middle school and high school don’t get the recommended amount of sleep — 81/2 to 91/2 hours on school nights; and that most high-school seniors get an average of less than seven hours.
The policy, aimed at middle and high schools, was published online today in the journal Pediatrics.