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A big part of the reason why is that nearly half of all high schools in the U. start before a.m., and over 85 percent are starting before a.m.
Sleep deprivation in teenagers as a result of early school hours has been a topic of concern and debate for over two decades.
The incidence of depression among teens significantly rises with less than nine hours of sleep.
Around half of teens who sleep four hours or less per night feel sad and hopeless, compared to just 19 percent of their well-rested peers.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the sleep requirement for teenagers is eight to 10 hours per night.
In fact, the state of California is currently considering a bill that would require all middle and high schools in the state to start school no earlier than a.m. Legislators are starting to consider teens’ sleep deficit as an issue of public health.
Studies on sleep in general and sleep in teens in particular have revealed the serious negative consequences of lack of adequate sleep.
Teens who are sleep-deprived – defined as obtaining less than eight hours per night – are significantly more likely to use cigarettes, drugs and alcohol.
Just expecting teens to minimize distractions and go to bed earlier is not a solution.
I have interviewed hundreds of teens who all said that if they went to bed early, they were unable to fall asleep – they just stared at the ceiling until sleep set in around 11 p.m.