It sounds like a child’s dream come true: starting school later may be more beneficial for kids than forcing them to embrace the early morning grind.
According to a study published in the journal Sleep Medicine, delaying school start time by just 15 minutes could do wonders for adolescent mental health—and it all has to do with preventing sleep deprivation.
The Epidemic of Sleep Deprivation in Children
Sleep deprivation isn’t something solely reserved for adults working long hours; in 2014, a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) noted that nearly two-thirds of 17-year-olds reported sleeping less than 7 hours a night, despite the fact that adolescents require 8 to 10 hours of sleep.
The problem has become so widespread, the AAP referred to sleep deprivation in children as a budding epidemic, one complicated by poverty, growing use of screen time, demanding after-school activities, and loose parental bedtime protocols.
The bottom line? Teens would rather cut back on sleep than drop out of a sport or club, and who wants to get some shut-eye when they can still be in bed, scrolling through social media feeds on a cell phone?
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