Teen Sleep Loss Toolkit

Thank you for visiting our School Start Time Toolkit and Information Center.

Executive Summary

1. Sleep, like food and water, is required for life.  Biologic changes during the adolescent years shift the natural bedtime and rise time a few hours later. The current practices of early morning school and activity start times, combined with teens’ later bedtimes, means that most teenagers are unable to obtain the recommended 8-10 hours of sleep on school nights. Thus, many teens in the U.S. are experiencing the negative health and safety impact of chronic insufficient sleep.

2. Research shows that delaying school start times in order to better align with a teenager’s biological clock can substantially improve the overall health, academic and athletic performance, and safety of adolescents in our communities.  This evidence has prompted the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Medical Association (AMA) along with others to make policy statements advising 8:30 a.m. or later school start times for middle and high schools.

3. School districts that have delayed school start times report high staff and parent satisfaction with schedules, better outcomes for student health and well-being.  Negative consequences that were predicted from the schedule changes did not materialize.

4. A successful change in school schedules is a highly-planned local governance process that incorporates education, engagement, and change management.  Other districts that have successfully navigated this transition are more than willing to share their experiences, tools and resources to communities undergoing this process.

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