Let Teenagers Sleep
Teenagers are some of the most sleep-deprived people in the U.S. On average, teens do not get enough sleep, and more important, they do not get enough quality sleep, researchers say. We could blame cell phones and other light-emitting technologies for keeping kids up at night, but late nights are just part of the equation. In addition to technology, one fairly indisputable factor contributes to this collective sleepiness: school start times.
Over decades researchers have amassed evidence showing that pushing back the first bell of middle and high school would benefit the physical, mental and emotional health of older children, not to mention their academic performance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with several medical societies, has endorsed later start times. Some school districts, as well as the state of California, have already shown respect for that evidence with new start times.
Yet far too many school districts are reluctant to make the change, whether for logistical, financial or cultural reasons. This is unfair to teens. A generation of students…