The New York Times: California Teenagers Could Sleep Later Under School Start Bill

Friday, September 7 2018

We all know a teenager who is nearly impossible to get out of bed in the morning. And research provides some relatively simple answers why: Sleep cycles make it hard for teenagers to fall asleep before 11 p.m. — and that does not leave them enough time to get a full night’s rest before school starts the next morning.

That is why, for decades, some doctors, educators and even politicians have been pushing for middle school and high school to start later. If class were to commence as late as 8:30 a.m., they have argued, student attendance, grades and graduation rates would improve.

“It’s the biological equivalent of waking you or me up at 3:30 a.m.,” Anthony J. Portantino, a state senator and Democrat who wrote the bill, said of forcing teenagers to get out of bed so early. “Imagine how you would feel if, 187 days a year, you had to get up at 3:30 a.m. You’d be miserable, you’d be depressed — you’d act like a teenager.”

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