October 18, 2016

Why Teens Brains Need Later Start Time

Having a hard time getting your teens to get out of bed in the morning for school? It’s not uncommon to hear the groans and moans as they slowly move around getting ready for school in the morning. According to Dr. Kyla Wahlstrom, teens may actually need an extra hour or two of sleep to help them perform better in school:

“I have been researching the impact of later high school start times for 20 years. Research findings show that teens’ inability to get out of bed before 8 a.m. is a matter of human biology, not a matter of attitude. At issue here are the sleep patterns of the teenage brain, which are different from those of younger children and adults. Due to the biology of human development, the sleep mechanism in teens does not allow the brain to naturally awaken before about 8 a.m. This often gets into conflict with school schedules in many communities.” – Dr. Kyla Walhstrom 

Listen to the rest of the podcast at: http://tinyurl.com/h5vq7w5

Matt talks with Dr. Kyla Wahlstrom, a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Minnesota. Her research work over the past 25 years has examined school and district leadership and the outcomes that result from educational policy initiatives. She has been researching later high school start times for the past 20 years, including her recently completed 3-year study for the CDC. The results of that research were used by the American Academy of Pediatrics to inform their national policy statement in 2014 about the need for later high school starting times. Dr. Wahlstrom shares the research.

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