Poll: Should the School Day Start Later in the Morning?

Parents in Cheltenham are worried about their sleep deprived teenagers.

Parents in Cheltenham have started a Facebook page — always the forefront of 2014-style activism — asking that the school open later in the morning, KYW 1060’s Brad Segall reports. Wait, what?

Rhonda Feder’s daughter is in 10th grade at Cheltenham High School. Class starts at 7:30. She can’t help but wonder whether her school work is affected because she and other teens may be sleep deprived. “Well they’re saying that teenagers are in a unique phase of life developmentally. It’s post puberty where their bodies simply are on a different rhythm,” Feder said. “A different clock when they were younger.”

There is research that kids and teenagers don’t adjust to waking up like adults do, KYW 1060 says. So what do you think?

[KYW 1060]

POLL: Should the school day start later in the morning?

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  • Sleephealth

    Enough polls already. This question has been answered by researchers with an unequivocal “yes” and it isn’t because “Waking up is hard to do.” It is because humans experience a phase delay during adolescence. In fact, before you start to blame electronics and the modern age, this same shift in sleep patterns is experienced by other mammals who don’t use devices. This phase shift means that the proper time for adolescents to sleep and to be awake is later in the 24-hour cycle than it will be when they are adults. Early school hours are like “shift work” for young people — might be perfectly fine for adults, but adolescents are still growing and developing and still need MORE sleep than they will need when they are adults. Asking high school students to be at bus stops as early as 5:30 or 5:45 or even 6:00 a.m. is like asking adults to wake and be at work everyday at 2:30 or 3:00 a.m. It’s ineffective and inefficient and it needs to change for the health and well-being and performance of our children.