Allowing high school students to sleep in a bit and start classes later in the morning can mean better grades, attendance, and can improve their health.

That’s the result from a new three-year study at the University of Minnesota. Researchers looked at more than 9,000 students at eight high schools in Minnesota, Colorado and Wyoming, and found that later start times boosted attendance, test scores, and academic performance in math, English, science and social studies. Students who started later also consumed less caffeine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded the study. It also found that 66 percent of students who started school at 8:55 a.m. got the recommended eight or more hours of sleep. Only 34 percent did if school started at 7:30 a.m.

Researchers say the reason is teenagers’ body clocks do not allow them to fall asleep until around 11:00 p.m., and going to bed earlier does not usually lead to more sleep.

Should high schools move to later start times? Or do students need to learn how to get up early since they’ll likely need to do that when they enter the working world? Leave your comments below, and watch for them on WBZ News in the Morning from 4:30 to 7:00 a.m.


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