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Daily Talker: Should School Start Later?

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Students are getting ready to go back to school. That means no more sleeping in. Or does it?

The American Academy of Pediatrics is now urging schools to start the school day at 8:30am or later.

Pediatricians say that will give students a better chance of getting the 8 ½ to 9 ½ hours of sleep they need a night. According to a poll by the National Sleep Foundation, just 1 in 5 adolescents get 9 hours of sleep on school nights. 45% get less than eight hours.

Lack of sleep has been linked to poor health and bad grades. Insufficient sleep raises the risk for obesity, stroke, diabetes, anxiety and depression. It has also been linked to poor grades, poor attendance, memory problems and even a higher rate of automobile accidents. Setting an earlier bed time may not be an option. Many students participate in sports and other extra-curricular activities. Some have after-school jobs. And don’t forget about their homework.

What do you think? Should school start later? Will a later start time really help students?

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