Joint Statement on Later School Start Times
The undersigned specialists in sleep medicine and professional health organizations collectively express our support for later school start times for adolescents.
The evidence is clear. Later school start times, in alignment with adolescence sleep schedules, show significant results for both individual students and the community at large:
- Improved driver safety.
- Improved alertness to facilitate peak academic performance.
- Reduced anxiety and depression.
- Less risk-taking behavior (i.e. drug and alcohol use, smoking)
- Less tardiness and school absences to foster improved opportunities for learning.
The objective of this statement is to support the following 2018 legislation put forth by the Minnesota Sleep Society:
- To allow adolescents to obtain sufficient sleep at a time that is right for their bodies on school nights, all secondary students will have a start time no earlier than 8:30 am.
- To avoid school districts inadvertently transferring sleep deprivation to younger children when reorganizing district transportation, all elementary schools will have a bus pick-up time no earlier than 7:00 am.
- These mandated times will not take effect until the 2021-2022 school year, to allow sufficient time for institutional change at the district level.
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Sleep Medicine Specialists
Teresa Amble, PsyD, LP
Health Professional Organizations
Dave Bucher, MD – President
Erin Rysavy, MPH, PA-C – President
Robert K. Meiches, MD – Chief Executive Officer
Dianne Willer-Sly, DNP, APRN – President
Sally Baas, PhD – President
Julie Dahl, APRN, CNP – President
Sue Abderholden, MPH – Executive Director
Susan Nokleby, MS, RN – President
National Organizations Calling for Later Start Times