Friday, August 7, 2015

Most US middle and high schools start the school day too early

Fewer than 1 in 5 middle and high schools in the U.S. began the school day at the recommended 8:30 a.m. start time or later during the 2011-12 school year, according to data published today in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Too-early start times can keep students from getting the sleep they need for health, safety, and academic success, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

CDC and U.S. Department of Education researchers reviewed data from the 2011-2012 Schools and Staffing Survey of nearly 40,000 public middle, high, and combined schools to determine school start times.

Schools that have a start time of 8:30 a.m. or later allow adolescent students the opportunity to get the recommended amount of sleep on school nights: about 8.5 to 9.5 hours. Insufficient sleep is common among high school students and is associated with several health risks such as being overweight, drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, and using drugs – as well as poor academic performance. The proportion of high school students who fail to get sufficient sleep (2 out of 3) has remained steady since 2007, according to the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Report.

To learn more, go to the CDC,  

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