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Studies have shown that adolescents have greater sleep needs than adults, due to changes in circadian rhythms. If they are in their late adolescence, your students are likely to report preferring to go to sleep later at night and then to sleep later in the morning. In addition, adolescents face a need for a greater amount of sleep.
For example, recently high schools have begun moving their start times to a later hour in the morning to accommodate these adolescent sleep needs. Schools that have taken this step report better attendance. However, this measure often causes a logistical problem with busing young children in the pre-dawn hours. In addition, later school start times may restrict teens’ abilities to participate in sports or to hold after-school jobs. Nevertheless, the findings from studies of adolescent sleep needs led Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) to propose the Z’s to A’s Act in March 2001. The act was designed to encourage school districts to delay school start times until after 9 a.m. by providing federal grants of up to $25,000 to cover the administrative and operating costs associated with making this transition.
For your response, determine whether or not you would support such a bill? Do you wish that your schools had started later? What do you see as the pros and cons?
Frontline: Inside the Human Brain: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/teen… (Links to an external site.)