Teenagers need at least nine hours’ sleep every night, and regularly not getting enough sleep can affect their performance at school.
Which is why some Australian high schools are considering allowing their students a sleep in — by contemplating the introduction of later start times.
Starting next year, Melbourne’s Templestowe College will give its students the option of one of three schedules – 8.50am-3.30pm, 10.30am-5.15pm, or 7.15am-1.15pm — the Herald Sun reports.
Selective boys’ school Melbourne High has also flagged the notion, with Principal Jeremy Ludowyke telling the Herald Sun delaying the school’s starting time could deliver benefits.
“There is a good research base to say we probably ask students to start their working day a little earlier than they should,’’ Mr Ludowyke said.
“We want to just assess the educational value of that proposition… It’s one we have to be prepared to look at quite reasonably and objectively,” he said.
The school’s students have suggested a later start time of 9:30am.
In the US, at least 80 school districts have already introduced later high school start times since 2000, Fairfax Media reports.
That may have been the right move, if research by Rhode Island’s Bradley Hasbro Children’s Research Center is anything to go by. In a study published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, the researchers revealed a 25-minute delay in school start time on teenagers resulted in significant reduction in daytime sleepiness among students, according to the Huffington Post.
They found that even a small time change doubled the percentage of students sleeping eight or more hours per night, from 18 per cent to 44 per cent, the study showed.
Would your kids benefit from a later school start time? How would that fit with your family’s other commitments?