Teens & sleep: Go to bed!
Teenagers who need more sleep should go to bed earlier, not expect schools to delay start times for them.
The issue has resurfaced yet again with an American Academy of Pediatrics statement citing research that indicates sleep comes later for middle and high school students in puberty's grip. The academy urges that their school days start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. Otherwise, it says, teens are at higher risk for obesity, depression, auto accidents and poor academic performance.
Yet practical complications stemming from later school start times abound: disruption of family schedules that count on older students to watch younger siblings after school, logistical and financial headaches for school transportation, classes and extracurricular activities running into the evening and keeping teens from working after-school jobs.
But the bigger problem with delaying school start times is the unrealistic message it sends to a generation some consider to be already too coddled: The world will adjust to suit your needs. That would reinforce a mindset that won't impress employers when these young adults seek their first “real” jobs a few years hence.
Better that they turn off the Xbox, put down the cellphone and go to bed early enough to get the sleep they need, whatever time their school day starts. If they do, they'll be better prepared for classes — and for real life in the real world.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.