Teenagers Benefit from Later Start

FAIRBANKS- During the beginning of the school year, we shared emerging research that modern school starting times hurt teenage sleeping cycles. It's a relatively new discovery that teenagers have a different sleep schedule says Dr. Kyla Wahlstrom, a researcher for education improvement at the University of Minnesota.

The national sleep foundation references international studies showing teenagers world–wide, stay up later and sleep later. Wahlstrom says there's an added problem for teens in the morning because “The teenage brain is still in a sleep mode with the secretion of melatonin until 8 in the morning, so any time kids are getting up, anytime earlier than 8 o'clock, they're already disrupting their brain sleep wave patterns.”

First period classes around the globe begin before many teens should be awake. The national sleep foundation says teens average less than 7 hours of sleep per night which is technically sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation impairs the ability to be alert, pay attention, solve problems, cope with stress and retain information.

Join us tonight and tomorrow for more details and possible strategies to improve the quality of sleep and education for teenagers.