Sleep Expert Calls on Schools To Let Teenagers Sleep In

Science Supports Later Start Times for Better Learning


Recently, the Seattle school board approved an 8:45 a.m. start time for all high schools and most middle schools. Seattle now joins about 70 districts nationwide that have adopted later start times to improve teenagers’ health and academics.

Arizona has a long way to go. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 75 percent of Arizona’s public middle and high schools start before 8:30 a.m.

“That’s just way too early,” says Valley Sleep Center Owner Lauri Leadley. “Research shows that insufficient sleep contributes to poor academic performance and health issues such as obesity.”

According to the CDC, biological rhythms commonly shift in puberty so teenagers become sleepy later at night and need to sleep later in the morning.

The CDC study finds 2 out of 3 teens get less than eight hours of sleep per night. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a school start time no earlier than 8:30 a.m. so that students get 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep.

See how Arizona ranks among other states by scrolling down to view this table and map.

About Valley Sleep Center

Since 2002, Valley Sleep Center has provided Arizona with diagnostic sleep disorder testing in a home-like atmosphere, ensuring a comfortable, relaxing experience for patients.  Their physicians are Board Certified Sleep Medicine Specialists and are accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. They provide diagnostic testing for a multitude of sleep related disorders including insomnia, sleep apnea, snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, hypertension, sleepwalking, and pediatric sleep problems.