Thinkstock: Study says teens would benefit from an extra half hour sleep in the morning.Every now and then, research will back up what you anecdotally already know. Take this study of high school students at a private boarding school in Rhode Island, which posed the question, if teens get 30 minutes more sleep in the morning, will it make a difference?
Um, yeah, says the mom of three teenagers. One gets out of bed easier than the other two, which require multiple wake-ups after sleeping dead through the alarms they set for themselves. All of whom somehow pull themselves together within 10 to 15 minutes to catch 7:10 a.m. rides to school.
Can you tell we love summer in this house?
When Judith Owens, the director of the pediatric sleep clinic at Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence, R.I. studied 200 students who were able to begin their school day at 8:30 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. in 2009, she found all upside and no downside.
After feeling better because of the extra half hour of sleep, many students reported they went to bed earlier, getting another 15 minutes, or 45 minutes extra total, a night. By the study's end, the average night's sleep per student was up 45 minutes to 8 hours The percentage of students who reported daytime sleepiness fell 20 percent to nearly half of all students, according to the study published in the July issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
A couple of really great changes took place because of that extra half hour:
- More students had hot breakfasts before classes, signaling they had more time to get breakfast
- The number of times students were late to or missed class dropped by about half, from 80 events to 44.
- The percentage of students who described themselves as irritable, moody, or depressed dropped significantly with more sleep.
Would you like to see school start later for the teens you know, or is what we've been doing for years good enough for this generation, as well?