National Jewish Health posted a press release on their latest sleep study. Maybe the school powers-that-be will pay attention.
Study: Homeschool Students Sleep Better
Research supports later start times for high school
The Press Release says:
DENVER, CO – March 6, 2013 — In the first study of its kind, researchers have determined that teens who are homeschooled benefit from healthier sleep habits than those who go to most private and public schools. The findings provide additional evidence of teens’ altered biological clocks and support an argument for starting traditional high school later in the morning.
“We have a school system that is set up so that the youngest children, who are awake very early in the morning, start school latest, and our adolescents, who need sleep the most, are being asked to wake up and go to school at a time when their brains should physiologically be asleep,” said Lisa Meltzer, PhD, a sleep psychologist at National Jewish Health in Denver, and lead author of the study.
“Adolescents need nine hours of sleep a night and if they’re only getting seven hours, on average, by the end of the week they are a full ten hours of sleep behind schedule,” said Meltzer, “and that impacts every aspect of functioning.”
This isn’t the first time the obvious reality of teens’ physiological clock not agreeing with school hours was laid out.
A 2000 article in High School Magazine by Kyla Wahlstrom
Sleep studies have shown that teenagers’ internal clocks are not compatible with the hours of most high schools. Recent research indicates that starting the school day later can benefit teens and everyone around them.
The question of when high schools should start classes in the morning is at the center of a great debate in comunities across the United States. During the past four years, hundreds of school districts discussed later starting times for the high school day because of recent findings from sleep laboratories doing research on teen sleep patterns.
The Mayo Clinic points this out, despite the use of the word “notorious” regarding a teen’s physical necessities:
Teens are notorious for staying up late and being hard to awaken in the morning. If your teen is no exception, it’s not necessarily because he or she is pushing the limits or fighting the rules. This behavior pattern actually has a physical cause — and can be modified to improve your teen’s sleep schedule.
With all these studies and facts laying out the notion tradtional high school hours are hard on a teen body and mind, we still have this from New Jersey Newsroom:
Arne Duncan pushes for longer school years in 5-state pilot program
The three-year pilot program, funded through a mix of federal, state and district monies, is expected to be implemented in five states, beginning in 2013. It requires an additional 300 hours of school learning. Participating districts will work with school leaders, teachers and parents to determine whether the school day should be made longer or if the school year should be longer or a combination of the two, according to the Associated Press.
Mandated under federal regulations, public education in the United States is categorized under a six-hour school day for a 180-day school year. This program, also funded in part by the Ford Foundation and the National Center for Time and Learning, seeks to increase school hours in Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Tennessee next year.
Logic is not prevailing. You’d think they would find an easier way for kids to stay home in their own private space. Guess that’s why homeschooling is growing and public schools have some success issues. The people who could make a positive change don’t seem to be ‘listening’.