Buehner Books

Start school Later

March 19th, 2014

A rash of news articles in the past weeks have reported on the findings of a study linking better performance in school with later sleep times. Generally school districts are trying to accommodate busing for multiple age groups, necessitating early start times. Locally, the earliest start time is for the middle school, where kids who take the bus need to be at the bus stop at early as 6:40 – which in the dead of winter and pitch black morning feels like the middle of the night. A little juggling by school districts, which might include more options than just moving all the times later, could do quite a bit to alleviate the problems created by a lack of sleep in adolescents. In the same way that the workplace adapts with flex time work days, school districts could make better use of technology for home learning at odd hours, and compress daytime school hours by five minutes in each class. The developing brains of children and teens need consistent regular sleep for mental and physical health as well as school performance. It just might be time for some changes.