Study suggests students need sleep

By Gary Brode |, Anna Carrera

Published 08/25 2014 04:30PM

Updated 09/02 2014 01:29PM

Update: 5:38 pm, 8/31/14, Sunday
NATIONAL -- A new study shows kids are not getting enough sleep. A big reason is because the time school starts. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends students in middle and high school start their days at 8:30 am, or later.

Studies show the average adolescent is not getting the 8.5 - 9.5 hours of sleep typically needed. The lack of sleep in teens has been linked to poor grades, obesity, depression and drowsy driving accidents. More than 40% of the nation's public high schools begin before 8 am.
Original: 4:30 pm, 8/25/14, Monday
NATIONAL -- Many students dread getting up early for class. A new study shows teens may benefit from starting school a little later in the day.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says the earliest middle and high schools should start is 8:30 am. Doctors say teens would do better in and out of the classroom if they got more sleep. They say a later start time works better with teens' biological clocks.

Many studies have shown the average teen has a hard time falling asleep before 11 pm, so they don't usually get enough sleep and constantly feel tired. There are lots of reasons for that including homework, busy schedules and just staying up late on weeknights.

Doctors say teens should get between 8.5 - 9.5 hours of sleep. Some are students say they would love to start later, but teachers say having to wake up early is only part of the problem. Only 15% of American schools start at or after 8:30 am.

Doctors also took into consideration the time it takes for students to get to school, which makes their wake-up call even earlier. Missing out on sleep also puts students at higher risk for car accidents, so medical experts say it's just another reason to consider pushing back the first bell.

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