School Start Times And High Quality Sleep

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The American education system is diverse and unique, and one aspect that varies wildly across the country is school start times. Deciding the start times for schools is dependent on many factors including bus schedules (Edwards, 2012), biological development (Borlase, Gander, & Gibson, 2013; Perkinson-Gloor, Lemola, & Grob, 2013), and parental preference (Edwards, 2012; Perkinson-Gloor et al., 2013). School start times are considered one aspect that can affect sleep duration, since they affect wake time. Adequate, high quality sleep is extremely important for adolescents and inadequate sleep can lead to a number of negative outcomes including poorer physical and mental health, as well as poorer academic performance (Borlase et al., 2013; Edwards, 2012; Keller, Smith, Gilbert, Bi, Haak, & Buckhalt, 2015; Paksarian, Rudolph, Jian-Ping, & Merikangas, 2015; Perkinson-Gloor, et al., 2013). Therefore, school start times are important to the field of education, because start times affect sleep and sleep, or lack thereof, can affect cognitive ability and performance. We are always looking to improve our schools and better educate our children, and the adjustment of the start time is a small change that may have a big impact.
Overall, the results of these studies suggest that early school start times are detrimental to all students, as elementary, middle, and high school students were examined in at least one of the five studies. Students at schools with early school start times
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