Pushing secondary school start times to let adolescents catch a little more shut-eye may improve students’ engagement in school, indicates a new study in the journal Sleep.
Researchers used parent and student surveys to track more than 15,000 students in grades 6-12 in the semesters before and after their schools moved to later start times.
Under later start times, the percentage of students getting recommended amounts of sleep jumped: 44 percent of middle schoolers got at least nine hours a night, up 6 percentage points, and 58 percent of high school students got at least eight hours of sleep nightly, up 31 percentage points. Moreover, the portion of students who reported being too sleepy to complete their homework fell 11 percentage points in middle school, to 35 percent, and fell from 71 percent to 56 percent among high school students.
A version of this article appeared in the June 19, 2019 edition of Education Week as School Start Times