Study: Later school start times do translate into more sleep

New research from National Jewish Health shows the benefits of pushing back the start times for middle and high school students.

Some critics had thought students would just go to sleep later and not get more sleep, but the new study found middle schoolers got 31 more minutes of sleep when school started 50 minutes later and high school students got 48 more minutes when their classes started 70 minutes later.

With that extra sleep, students were more engaged in their classes, and fewer reported being too sleepy to do their homework.

Unionville-Chadds Ford School District in Chester County moved starts times at secondary schools back 2 years ago, and has reported better attention, less tardiness and more student involvement. The district hopes to see better scores when all is tallied from this year's standardized tests.

Phoenixville will go to a later start in the fall, with middle and high schools starting at 8:05 a.m.

Radnor, Delaware County, will push its start back 55 minutes to 8:30 a.m., becoming the only district in southeastern Pennsylvania to conform with the recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics for an 8:30 a.m.. start.

The new study was presented at the 2019 meeting of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
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