When a school adapts to teen sleep cycle with a later start time, instead of expecting the teen to start earlier and adapt to an early start, kids actually do have more energy for learning and can stay healthier, according to information from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The AAP published a statement after reviewing various studies that supported later school start times for teems. The policy statement affirmed that teens really do have difficulty falling asleep before 11 pm, and to accomodate this natural sleep rhythm high school classes should begin at 8:30 am or later.
The AAP also affirmed that without enough sleepo, teens can suffer from ongoing health problems, and are at a greater risk of having poor academic performance. They are also at a greater risk of being in car accidents.
Some schools in Los Angeles have changed their start times based on the AAP recommendation. Now the districts are evaluating how well the later start time is working out.
Campbell Hall is a private school affiliated with the Episcopal Church. About four years ago, the school shifted to a later start time in order to better serve its students, the headmaster, the Rev. Canon Julian P. Bull said.
On Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays grades 7-12 of the K-12 school start at 8:50 a.m. On Wednesdays, grades 7-12 start at 9:30 a.m., which gives students a break in the middle of the week.
“We talked about making the change because we were aware of the research that shows that adolescents need to sleep later and wanted to stay abreast to that,” Bull said.
Before the new schedule was implemented, teachers often reported to Bull that their students were tired and late to class. After the change, teachers told Bull that their students were happier, more relaxed, more energized and on time.