Fewer than one in five teens in middle and high school don’t begin the day at the recommended 8:30 a.m. start time, new research shows.
Scientists have said that middle and high schools need to start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. to ensure teens get a good enough sleep the night before. But most schools start on average around 8 a.m. and some even earlier, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Not enough sleep can lead to numerous health risks such as being overweight, drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, using other drugs and poor academic performance, the agency said. It cited a 2014 statement from the Academy of Pediatrics that urged schools to modify start times.
The agency found that 42 states reported 75 to 100 percent of the schools started before 8:30. Louisiana had the earliest average start time at 7:40 a.m. and Alaska the latest at 8:33 a.m., the agency said.