Studies done years ago show most
teens have internal body clocks set to fall asleep around 11pm and wake up
around 8am — near the end of first period in a typical US high school that
opens in the 7am hour. Add time for grooming, breakfast and a bus ride, and
many teens are rising from bed some two to three hours before nature intends.
How did thousands of school
districts decide to open high schools at a time when teenage brains are still
It may have had to do with schools
opening later for little kids – who actually need less sleep, researchers say.
But the result is that a schedule
guaranteed to create sleep-deprived teens is now the long-standing norm in many
Amy Wolfson and Kyla Wahlstrom are
among researchers who have spent the past 15 years producing studies that
suggest this is a bad idea. The research has led to later starts in some