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Teens Need More Sleep

Teenagers do not get enough sleep and early school start times harm them, according to researchers.

“We are in a teen public health crisis and sleep is a major risk factor,” Jessica Hamilton, a researcher at Rutgers University told the Wall Street Journal.

The average teen circadian rhythm involves a later bedtime and a later waketime. It’s not because they’re lazy. It’s because their hormones require this. Yet more than 10% of U.S. high schools start school before 7:30 a.m.

I never understood why preschoolers start later than high schoolers when the preschoolers are naturally up early (God help us!) while the high schoolers need their sleep. In many school districts, they blame bus and after-school sports schedules but are these things a priority over students’ health?

Dr. Hamilton’s research indicates that letting teens sleep a little longer “could help reduce teen suicide rates over time. A recent study she co-wrote found that, among a population of young adults experiencing depression, shorter sleep during one night led to a greater likelihood of suicidal ideation the next day.”

Yikes! Let them sleep!

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