Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Later school start times improve sleep and daytime functioning in adolescents

Date:
January 15, 2014
Source:
Lifespan
Summary:
A psychologist and sleep expert recently led a study linking later school start times to improved sleep and mood in teens.

A new study links later school start times to improved sleep and mood in teens.
Credit: Photographee.eu / Fotolia

Julie Boergers, Ph.D., a psychologist and sleep expert from the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center, recently led a study linking later school start times to improved sleep and mood in teens.

The article, titled "Later School Start Time is Associated with Improved Sleep and Daytime Functioning in Adolescents," appears in the current issue of the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics.

"Sleep deprivation is epidemic among adolescents, with potentially serious impacts on mental and physical health, safety and learning. Early high school start times contribute to this problem," said Boergers. "Most teenagers undergo a biological shift to a later sleep-wake cycle, which can make early school start times particularly challenging. In this study, we looked at whether a relatively modest, temporary delay in school start time would change students' sleep patterns, sleepiness, mood and caffeine use."

Boergers' team administered the School Sleep Habits Survey to boarding students attending an independent high school both before and after their school start time was experimentally delayed from 8 to 8:25 a.m. during the winter term.

The delay in school start time was associated with a significant (29 minute) increase in sleep duration on school nights, with the percentage of students receiving eight or more hours of sleep on a school night jumping from 18 to 44 percent. The research found that younger students and those sleeping less at the start of the study were most likely to benefit from the schedule change. And once the earlier start time was reinstituted during the spring term, teens reverted back to their original sleep levels.

Daytime sleepiness, depressed mood and caffeine use were all significantly reduced after the delay in school start time. The later school start time had no effect on the number of hours students spent doing homework, playing sports or engaging in extracurricular activities.

Boergers, who is also co-director of the Pediatric Sleep Disorders Clinic at Hasbro Children's Hospital, said that these findings have important implications for public policy. "The results of this study add to a growing body of research demonstrating important health benefits of later school start times for adolescents," she said. "If we more closely align school schedules with adolescents' circadian rhythms and sleep needs, we will have students who are more alert, happier, better prepared to learn, and aren't dependent on caffeine and energy drinks just to stay awake in class."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Lifespan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Julie Boergers, Christopher J. Gable, Judith A. Owens. Later School Start Time Is Associated with Improved Sleep and Daytime Functioning in Adolescents. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 2013; 1 DOI: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000018

Cite This Page:

Lifespan. "Later school start times improve sleep and daytime functioning in adolescents." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140115122215.htm>.
Lifespan. (2014, January 15). Later school start times improve sleep and daytime functioning in adolescents. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140115122215.htm
Lifespan. "Later school start times improve sleep and daytime functioning in adolescents." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140115122215.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program

NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program

AP (Apr. 15, 2014) The New York City Police Department has ended a program that once kept tabs on the city's muslim population. (April 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins