Both High Risk and High Achieving Students Benefit from a Later School Start Time

A Winsler, A Deutsch, RD Vorona, P Payne, M Szklo-Coxe.  Sleepless in Fairfax The difference one more hour of sleep can make for Teen Hopelessness, Suicidal Ideation, and Substance Use.

This article provides evidence that individuals with multiple high-risk factors experience increased negative consequences of sleep deprivation. In this study, adolescent girls and minorities reported less sleep than their white male counterparts, in both middle and high school.  Less sleep increased the odds of substance use along with serious mental health consequences including depression and suicide in these two populations.  Movement from 6 to 7 hours of sleep provided benefit even though it was not increased to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended amount of sleep for children.

Lo J, Ong J, Leong R, Gooley J, Chee M. Cognitive Performance, Sleepiness, and Mood in Partially Sleep Deprived Adolescents: The Need for Sleep Study. Sleep, 39:3, 2015

This study, done in Southeast Asia, measured the effects of sleep deprivation in high-achieving high school students.  Fifty-six students were randomly placed in groups and allowed 9-hours or 5-hours of sleep.  Those students allowed only 5 hours did significantly worse in measures of performance and mood. The authors of this study note their findings emphasize that even intelligence and an intense work ethic are no protection from the effects of sleep deprivation.  This is important to note as parents often underestimate the amount of sleep their child needs.

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