Won't teens just go to bed later?

No! Many districts around the country have changed start times and the fact is that teens get more sleep when start times are later. Wilton, for example, changed start times in 2006. Bedtimes remained constant and wake times shifted later. A 40 minute change in start time resulted in 35 minutes of additional sleep on school nights.

Recently, research in Seattle Public Schools after they changed start times showed that the teens are using the time for sleep.

In the survey New Canaan conducted last spring, 87% of parents and students said they would use the time for sleep.

Sleep is a basic need. It is a critical component of mental and physical health and the ability to learn. Teens need 8.5-9.5 hours of sleep a night. Most of them are getting 7 or fewer hours of sleep. Over 1/3 of them are getting 6 or fewer. This is a public health crisis that we must address.

"Just as people who are hungry will eat more when given the opportunity, people who are sleep deprived will get more sleep if you give them a chance." Rafael Pelayo, MD, Stanford University School of Medicine