Most teenagers are sleep-deprived. In fact, only about 10% are getting the nine hours required by most teens to function best during the day. To ensure more teenagers are getting enough sleep, several school boards have shown a recent interest in pushing back high school start times. Studies have shown that allowing teenagers to get an extra hour or two of sleep may have several benefits to their overall health and to society in general.
A recent study published by the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine has found that later school start times reduces the rates of traffic collisions among teenagers. The lead author, Dr. Robert Verona, explained that getting a little extra sleep helps to ensure that young drivers are more alert on the road.
In addition to fewer traffic accidents, studies have so far found that delaying school start times boosts school attendance amongst teens and improves academic performance. Students are able to concentrate better, and make fewer mistakes on tests.
In their article Sleep: Do you think starting school later would benefit teens? CBC invites readers to vote and share their opinion on this issue: http://www.cbc.ca/news/yourcommunity/2011/04/sleep-do-you-think-starting-school-later-would-benefit-teens.html So far, the poll result shows that most people believe school boards should accommodate the sleep needs of teenagers by starting later.