CDC: Teens starting school day too early, need more sleep

Recommended start time is 8:30 a.m., although most schools start earlier in the day

The Centers for Disease Control found that teens who don’t get at least eight hours of sleep a night are more likely to make bad decisions.
(Michael Mandiberg/Flickr Commons)

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Schools across the country are considering starting later, in order to give teens a chance to get more sleep.

The Centers for Disease Control found that teens who don’t get at least eight hours of sleep a night are more likely to make bad decisions, such as texting while driving, smoking, having sex, doing drugs and considering attempting suicide.

The U.S. Department of Education found that less than 20 percent of schools start classes at the recommended time of 8:30 a.m. or later.

22News spoke with Dr. Paul Walting of Sleep Medicine Services of Western Massachusetts, who explained why that’s important.

“We know that when you are a teenager, you like to stay up until midnight or one in the morning and sleep until noon. That’s not just because you are a lazy son of a gun, it’s because biologically, that’s just a developmental sleep phase that you go through in that age range,” Walting said.

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