Group Recommends Delayed Start To High School, Middle School Classes.

USA Today (8/25, Healy) reports that according to a new policy statement issued today and published online in the journal Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics “says delaying the start of high school and middle school classes to 8:30 a.m. or later is ‘an effective countermeasure to chronic sleep loss’ and the ‘epidemic’ of delayed, insufficient, and erratic sleep patterns among the nation’s teens.” Notably, “other major health organizations, including the American Medical Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have all highlighted insufficient sleep in adolescents as a serious health risk, as has US Education Secretary Arne Duncan,” explained Terra Ziporyn Snider, executive director of the group Start School Later.

The AP (8/25, Tanner) points out that research has “found that most US students in middle school and high school don’t get the recommended amount of sleep – 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 hours on school nights; and that most high school seniors get an average of less than seven hours.” The “evidence on potential dangers for teens who get too little sleep is ‘extremely compelling’ and includes depression, suicidal thoughts, obesity, poor performance in school and on standardized tests and car accidents from drowsy driving, said Dr. Judith Owens, the policy’s lead author and director of sleep medicine at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC.”

Related Links:

— “Docs urge delayed school start times for teens,” Michelle Healy, USA Today, August 25, 2014.

Posted in In The News.