Doctors recommend later start time for middle and high schools

Doctors recommend later start time for middle and high schools
(WTHR file photo)
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With summer over and school now underway, our teens are now are adjusting to new sleep schedules.

But the American Academy of Pediatrics Monday suggested schools could help students be more successful by delaying the first bell. The group recommends middle and high schools delay start times to at least 8:30.

"They are biologically programmed to fall asleep at 11:00 and wake at around 8:00, and that's a time when they're already in first period class," said Dr. Judith Owens with Children's Medical Center.

So with that challenge, go for quality sleep and remember the ever-present cell phone puts that at risk.

"Four out of five kids that have cell phones sleep with the cell phone in the bedroom next to their bed, and only one in ten actually turn it off," said Dr. Marcus Schmidt with Ohio Sleep Medicine. "They kind of get stuck in a no-man's land where they're not really fully awake but yet feel the need or urge to be able to respond to that text message."

That's what the "do not disturb setting" is for. Set it and get some sleep!

Across the country, an estimated 40 percent of high schools start before 8:00 a.m., but most Central Indiana high schools from Kokomo to Martinsville start between 7:25 and 7:35.

If you are not a morning person, head to Lawrence where both Lawrence North and Lawrence Central ring the middle and high school bell at 8:40 and 8:50.