What time is the right time to start school?
According to pediatricians 8:30 a.m. or later. What time do you think school should start? Vote below >
A study by the Academy of Pediatrics says pushing back the start time of school will help students get more sleep and help them perform better in the classroom.
It found that 59 percent of middle school students and 87 percent of high school students in the U.S. were getting less than the recommended 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep on school nights.
The study also found the natural sleep cycle of teens made it difficult for them to fall asleep before 11 p.m.
Plus, many teens juggle extracurricular activities and after-school jobs, both can keep them up at night.
That is why pediatricians are urging school leaders to consider pushing back first period to 8:30 a.m. or later.
In the U.S. an estimated 40 percent of high schools currently have a start time of 8 a.m. and only 15 percent start at 8:30 or later.
Middle schools average a start time of 8 a.m. while 20 percent of middle schools start at 7:45 a.m. or earlier.
According to the study adolescents who don't get enough sleep often suffer from physical and mental health problems, an increased risk of automobile accidents and a decline in academic performance.
Students who do get enough sleep have better grades and overall a better quality of life.
"Studies have shown that delaying early school start times is one key factor that can help adolescents get the sleep they need to grow and learn," said pediatrician Judith Owens, MD.
In Connecticut many students are heading back to school this week so this study will not be changing start times this year but it may at least start the discussion.