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High school students average 7 hours of sleep on school nights and 8.5 hours on weekends. That's not enough, according to Dr. Jodi Mindell, the Associate Director of the Sleep Disorders Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. They should be getting at least 9 hour of sleep every night.
Not getting enough sleep may be one reason why so many students are being diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD). Poor sleeping habits may also contribute to the development of anxiety issues. Even though teenagers may try to act like adults, they still need more sleep than adults.
The National Sleep Foundation and many sleep experts agree that delaying the start time for high school students will help them to function better during class. Allowing teens to sleep in later is more in line with their circadian rhythm, which is that of a night owl. Rather than forcing the students to fight their nature, starting classes later will result in fewer sleepy students. Teachers will have less cranky teens that actually stay awake in class too. In places where a late school start time has been implemented, most students and teachers report a much better learning environment.