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First direct evidence that a later school day really does help teenagers

First direct evidence that a later school day really does help teenagers

Pushing back high school start times not only improves the quality of students’ sleep, it also boosts attendance and academic performance, according to a study of US school attenders. The study is the first to show this objectively – using wrist-worn activity monitors to measure sleep duration – rather than by relying on self-reported information on sleeping habits. Teenagers naturally prefer late nights and lie-ins due to body clock shifts that occur during puberty. However, this preference does not align with the early start times of most schools. “You’re basically chopping off the last chunk of sleep they need,” says Horacio de la Iglesia at the University of Washington. To address this problem, schools in Seattle decided to delay their start time from 7:50 to 8:45am from mid-2016 onwards. De la Iglesia and his colleagues decided to measure the impact by studying students before and after the change. To make the comparison as objective as possible they compared students taking a…

Source: First direct evidence that a later school day really does help teenagers

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