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J Sch Health. 2018 May;88(5):370-378. doi: 10.1111/josh.12622.

Later Start, Longer Sleep: Implications of Middle School Start Times.

Author information

1
Education Research, Child Trends, 7315 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 1200W, Bethesda, MD 20814.
2
Bethesda Policy Research, Kensington, MD 20895.
3
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218.
4
Department of Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 155 Hamilton Hall, CB #3210, Chapel Hill, NC 27599.
5
Carolina Population Center, 155 Hamilton Hall, CB #3210, Chapel Hill, NC 27599.
6
Sleep Medicine, Children's National Health System, 111 Michigan Avenue NW, Washington DC 20010.
7
Pulmonary Behavioral Medicine, Children's National Health System, 111 Michigan Avenue NW, Washington DC 20010.
8
Department of Sleep and Pulmonary Medicine, George Washington University School of Medicine, 111 Michigan Avenue NW, Washington DC 20010.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although adolescents generally get less than the recommended 9 hours of sleep per night, research and effort to delay school start times have generally focused on high schools. This study assesses the relation between school start times and sleep in middle school students while accounting for potentially confounding demographic variables.

METHODS:

Seventh and eighth grade students attending 8 late starting schools (∼8:00 am, n = 630) and 3 early starting schools (∼7:23 am, n = 343) from a diverse suburban school district completed online surveys about their sleep behaviors. Doubly robust inverse probability of treatment weighted regression estimates of the effects of later school start time on student bedtimes, sleep duration, and daytime sleepiness were generated.

RESULTS:

Attending a school starting 37 minutes later was associated with an average of 17 additional minutes of sleep per weeknight, despite an average bedtime 15 minutes later. Students attending late starting schools were less sleepy than their counterparts in early starting schools, and more likely to be wide awake.

CONCLUSIONS:

Later school start times were significantly associated with improved sleep outcomes for early adolescents, providing support for the movement to delay school start times for middle schools.

KEYWORDS:

middle school children's health; school start times; sleep; youth sleep

PMID:
29609217
PMCID:
PMC6200144
[Available on 2019-05-01]
DOI:
10.1111/josh.12622

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