(Ivanhoe Newswire) - Delaying the start of school may help kids stay awake during class. A new study reveals 40 extra minutes could make children more productive in class.
Researchers from Norwalk Hospital's Sleep Disorder Center in Connecticut focused on 259 high school students. The kids filled out a questionnaire about their sleep habits before and after the school switched the start time from 7:35am to 8:15am.
Researchers found students slept an extra 33 minutes when school started 40-minutes later. This extra sleep was mainly due to waking up later in the morning. Their bedtimes did not change. After the change, more students reported being more alert during the day.
Study authors say this shows students will sleep more when given the opportunity. In this study, the students utilized 83 percent of the extra time for sleep. Prior to the delay the students reported an average of seven hours of sleep. After the change, they increased it to 7 1/2 hours of sleep. This is still below the recommended nine hours, but researchers say it's a step in the right direction.
SOURCE: Presented at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies on June 9th 2008