| Opinion/The Review

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Teens & sleep: Go to bed!

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

Daily Photo Galleries

Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

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.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Editorials

  1. The Thursday wrap
  2. The Kane ruling: Get on with it
  3. Greensburg Tuesday takes
  4. Kittanning Council conundrum: Why disband authority?
  5. Orphan sinkhole
  6. The Thursday wrap
  7. Obama’s amnesty tab: Where credit isn’t due
  8. The visa flap: A prevailing stench
  9. Pittsburgh Tuesday takes
  10. The Connellsville WCVI building: Another fine mess
  11. Saturday essay: Anatomy of a backache