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Sleep Health Journal Article Highlights Importance of Later School Start Times for Adolescent Health

Contact: Stephanie Kohn


Sleep Health Journal Article Highlights Importance of Later School Start Times for Adolescent Health


Washington, D.C. (January 4, 2022): The latest article published in the National Sleep Foundation’s (NSF) Sleep Health Journal highlights the importance of later school start times for adolescents. 

Adolescent sleep health and school start times: Setting the research agenda for California and beyond—a research summit summary (Ziporyn, Owens, Wahlstrom, Wolfson, Troxel, Saletin, Rubens, Pelayo, Payne, Hale, Keller, and Carskadon) highlights key outcomes from the Summit on Adolescent Sleep and School Start Times held in January 2021 and hosted by Stanford University School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. National Sleep Foundation supported the Summit, along with other sleep organizations and universities.

Sleep and circadian researchers at the Summit summarized the extensive body of research on adolescent sleep and school start time change, identifying innovative research areas and pressing questions that might be informed by California’s groundbreaking 2019 law requiring middle schools to start at 8:00 AM or later and high schools to start at 8:30 AM or later. 

“Simply put, later school start times improve adolescent sleep, health, safety, and learning,” said Lauren Hale, PhD, article co-author and National Sleep Foundation Board Chair. “Moving forward, we need to identify the most effective ways to build school health policies that support student sleep, as well as educate the wider school community.”

Community-engaged sleep research using a multi-disciplinary approach is required to support school and community leaders delaying school start times. “This research is critical in helping to inform school and workplace policies that support the basic human right for quality sleep for all stakeholders,” said Rafael Pelayo, MD, article co-author and National Sleep Foundation Board member.

“The National Sleep Foundation is committed to improving adolescent sleep health and applauds the efforts of the research community studying the effects of school start time changes,” concluded Hale.

The paper’s conclusions support NSF’s Sleep Healthy Policy Statement on healthy adolescent school start times, including its recommendations for research and policy efforts to help communities move to school schedules that allow students an opportunity to get healthy sleep.


About the National Sleep Foundation

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice.