Adolescent Sleep Patterns and School Start Times

Photo of Adolescent Sleep Patterns ME Guest, Kyla WahlstromAdolescent sleep patterns represent a change from earlier childhood. Gone are the days of “early to bed and early to rise.” Adolescents tend to stay up later and, if allowed, sleep in. The quantity and quality of sleep a person gets is important to health, safety and well-being at every age. But recent research highlights the unique sleep needs of adolescents and the high cost when those needs are not met – from poorer school performance to depression to greater risk of car accidents and more.


Kyla Wahlstrom, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Minnesota, has studied this issue for more than 20 years, including a recently completed 3-year study with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She joins Marti & Erin for a lively discussion of what parents can do to ensure adolescents get the sleep they need and to make the case for why later school start times are an important part of the equation.



What did you learn in this Mom Enough interview about how and why later school start times (after 8:30 am) are so important for adolescents? If your district has early start times and is not likely to change them, what steps can you and your family take to improve the amount and quality of your children’s sleep?



START SCHOOL LATER. Check out this coalition of health professionals, sleep scientists, educators, parents, students and concerned citizens dedicated to increasing public awareness about the relationship between sleep and school hours.

EVIDENCE ON THE IMPACT OF A LATER HIGH SCHOOL START TIME. Read this study to learn more about the evidence for later high school start times.

IN SEARCH OF A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP: PRACTICAL TIPS FROM DR. HARVEY KARP. Listen to this Mom Enough episode with The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep author, Dr. Harvey Karp.

ARE YOU CONCERNED THAT YOUR CHILD MAY NOT BE GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP? Tune in to this show to learn more about the symptoms and management of sleep disorders from expert, Dr. Gerald Rosen.


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