What Time Should School Start? This New Research Suggests It's Later Than You May Expect

Researchers found out what time school actually start for teens.


Let's face it: Kids across America aren't getting enough sleep. There's even scientific evidence to prove it! Only two-thirds of teens are getting the recommended 8-10 hours, according to a recent study. And know what's not helping this situation? Early school start times. If your teens complain about waking up early, listen up. Their groggy gripes aren't unfounded.

Researchers from the University of Oxford, Harvard Medical School, and the University of Nevada found that the current school start times are damaging students' ability to learn.

So what time should the school start bells ring? According to this new report, for 10-year-olds, school should start at 8:30 a.m. or later. For teens age 16, 10 a.m. is the ideal time. As for the older crowd (18 and up), school should begin at 11 a.m. or later.

Researchers believe that these new times would help with sleep deprivation, which can lead to poor learning or health problems. For the study, they analyzed the body's clock and the sleep cycle.

This research is nothing new—the American Academy of Pediatrics previously advocated for later start times. There's a body of research of all of the side effects of a lack of sleep—whether an increased risk of obesity, health problems later in life (like heart disease or diabetes), or poor academic performance. Not catching enough Zs can have some serious repercussions.

To read about an amazing teen who fought to get her school start time pushed back (and won!), click here. Also check out these tips from health teacher Amy Lauren Smith about how to get teens to set a tech curfew.