Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

High school start times deprive teens of sleep, affect academic performance

06.06.2005


Current high school start times deprive adolescents of sleep and force students to perform academically in the early morning, a time of day when they are at their worst, according to a study in the June issue of the journal Pediatrics.



Results from high school senior sleep/wake diaries kept for the study also showed that adolescents lost as much as two hours of sleep per night during the school week, but weekend sleep times during the school year were similar to those in summer.

The study was a collaborative project involving researchers at the Feinberg School of Medicine and the Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology at Northwestern University and faculty, students and parents from Evanston Township High School, Evanston, Ill. The students were advanced placement biology students who helped conduct the study and analyze the collected data.


Martha Hansen, advanced placement biology teacher and current science department chair at Evanston Township High School, headed the project in collaboration with Margarita L. Dubocovich, professor of molecular pharmacology and biological chemistry and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Feinberg; and Phyllis C. Zee, M.D., professor of neurology, Feinberg.

The study assessed the impact of sleep loss after the start of school on cognitive performance and mood and examined the relationship of weekday to weekend sleep in adolescents.

The study also showed that exposure to bright light in the morning did not modify students’ sleep-wake cycle or improve daytime performance during weekdays probably because of their strict school schedule. All students performed better in the afternoon than in the morning. Students in early morning classes reported being wearier, less alert and having to expend greater effort. Potential solutions to this problem could be solved by changing school start times and by giving standardized tests later in the day, the authors suggested.

For example, classes at Evanston Township High School start at 8:05 a.m. and run until 3:35 p.m. – one of the longest school days in Illinois. Many high schools in the country have start times of 7:15 or 7:30 a.m. In addition, almost all standardized tests in high school begin at 8 a.m.

Since this is when adolescents show their poorest performance levels, a change is clearly needed and would be relatively easy to negotiate, the researchers suggest.

While the authors emphasized that more research on adolescent circadian rhythms is needed, they also believe that all groups dealing with adolescents – pediatricians, parents, teachers and teenagers themselves – need to be aware of adolescents’ lifestyle patterns and the unusual weekday/weekend sleep phenomena.

"Knowledge of adolescent circadian rhythms could promote better family relationships if parents understood that sleeping late on weekends is part of their children’s in-born cycle and not ’lazy’ or antisocial behavior," the researchers said. Finally, this sleep study forged collaboration between high school students and faculty where everyone learned and benefited from the experience.

"Students were able to learn about the process of collecting and analyzing data and to discover more about the fascinating topic of themselves," the authors said.

Other researchers on the study were Imke Janssen, statistician and Evanston Township High School parent; and Adam Schiff, a former Evanston Township High School student, currently in medical school.

Elizabeth Crown | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.northwestern.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>