Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Does your child's high school start before 8:30 a.m.? Shame on those in charge.

Teens More Alert When School Starts Later
Study Shows Later Start Time for High School Can Improve Students' Mood and Motivation
By Katrina Woznicki
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

July 6, 2010 -- A simple half-hour delay in high school start time led to a significant improvement in students' mood, alertness, and motivation, and increased their average sleep time during the week, according to a new study.

Judith A. Owens, MD, MPH, at the Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence, R.I., and colleagues studied 201 students in grades nine through 12 attending a Rhode Island high school where the class start time was changed from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. for a two-month period. Students completed online surveys before the change in class time and then after.

Owens and her team found that:

* The percentage of students getting less than seven hours of sleep per night dropped by 79.4%.
* Students reporting at least eight hours of sleep per night increased from 16.4% at the start of the study to 54.7% after two months.
* The percentage of students who reported feeling at least somewhat unhappy or depressed dropped from 65.8% to 45.1%.
* The percentage of students who reported feeling annoyed or irritated throughout the day also dropped, from 84% to 62.6%.
* Reports of visiting a health center for fatigue-related symptoms decreased from 15.3% to 4.6%.
* Sleep duration increased on school nights by about 45 minutes and the average bedtime on school nights was 18 minutes earlier.

The findings are published in the July issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

1 comment:

Character Education said...

These are the worst averages ever. I think parents must do something for their children.