Later high school start times help adolescents sleep longer

08 Nov Later high school start times help adolescents sleep longer

Sometimes the world of science throws up some literature that proves what is otherwise common sense. This is one of those occasions.

Nahmod et al. from the department of Biobehavioral Health, Pennsylvania State University have recently published a study in the Journal of Sleep. They showed that students who start school later tend to sleep more (as measured by actigraphy).

We know adolescents naturally go to bed later and also sleep in later than children and adults. So if their school start times were later, these kids wouldn’t get woken up so early, and thus would sleep more. Thanks to science we know this to be true!

 “…results indicated that every one-hour delay in school start times was significantly associated with 21 minutes longer 24-hour sleep duration (p<.001), 16 minutes later sleep onset (p<.01), and 39 minutes later sleep offset (p<.001).”

However, the discussion around school start times is a whole other argument. We know that more (good quality) sleep = better learning. And that later school start times = more sleep (thanks Nahmood et al). Perhaps we could also hypothesize that, later school start times = better learning?

Better call science to come and test this theory…


Original article online:


Nicole G Nahmod, Soomi Lee, Lindsay Master, Anne-Marie Chang, Lauren Hale, Orfeu M Buxton; Later high school start times associated with longer actigraphic sleep duration in adolescents, Sleep, , zsy212,