Originally posted on Craig Canapari, MD:
NOTE: The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended school start times no earlier than 8:30 for teens. Read more here.
A few years ago, I had a sixteen year old come into sleep clinic for insomnia. He was a hard-working student in a good school district. I asked him to describe his sleep problems to me. “I finish my homework at midnight every night,” he said, “and I can’t fall asleep by 12:10 AM.” Each of his Advanced Placement classes had 1-2 hours of assigned homework per night and he was not routinely finishing homework until 11 PM or 12 AM. This may be an exaggerated case [and note that the details have been changed a bit to protect patient privacy.] However, let’s do the math. The typical school day for a high school student in this country is between 6.5-7 hours per day. Most school districts start between 7-8…
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