Another Study Finds Later School Bell Brings Sleep Bonus for Teens

Another Study Finds Later School Bell Brings Sleep Bonus for Teens

Singapore's teens are the world's best on an international test of academic performance, but they pay for it with their sleep.

Mental Health Does Not Come With A Manual, It Comes With Friends & Family Support That Never Gives Up!
Join now

Most get well below the recommended eight to 10 hours of shut-eye on school nights. But a new study finds that delaying the morning school bell would help.

Studies in Western nations have found that later school start times improve students' sleep and well-being. But the impact in East Asian countries, where students are under strong pressure to excel, has been less clear, the researchers explained.

The new study included 375 students at an all-girl's high school in Singapore that moved its start time from 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.

In Singapore, school typically begins around 7:30 a.m. (That's an hour earlier than recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.) On average, teens in Singapore average 6.5 hours of sleep a night on school nights.

At a follow-up one month after the later school start was introduced, teens were spending an extra 23 minutes in bed on school nights. The percentage who said they slept at least 8 hours a night rose from just under 7 percent to 16 percent, the researchers found.

After nine months, total sleep time had increased by about 10 minutes a night, the findings showed.

At both follow-ups, the teens reported less daytime sleepiness, greater alertness, as well as fewer depressive symptoms and mood problems.

"Starting school later in East Asia is feasible and can have sustained benefits," said lead researcher Michael Chee. He is a professor in the neuroscience and behavioral disorders program at Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore.

The study was published April 10 in Sleep, the international journal for sleep and circadian science.

The Internet's Most Trusted Source For Mental Health Information
Sign up

"Our work extends the empirical evidence collected by colleagues in the West, and argues strongly for disruption in practice and attitudes surrounding sleep and well-being in societies where these are believed to hinder rather than enhance societal advancement," he added in a journal news release.

More information

The National Sleep Foundation has more on teens and sleep.


Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.


Related Content

My Relationship Isn't Doomed Just Because I Have Borderline Personality Disorder
My Relationship Isn't Doomed Just Because I Have Borderline Personality Disorder

When I was diagnosed with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder earlier this...

Read more
Many People Taking Antidepressants Discover They Cannot Quit
Many People Taking Antidepressants Discover They Cannot Quit

Victoria Toline would hunch over the kitchen table, steady her hands and draw a ...

Read more
What Is the Relation Between Eating Disorders and Trauma?
What Is the Relation Between Eating Disorders and Trauma?

A recent study examines the association between eating disorders and different t...

Read more
Heightened "Performance Monitoring" in Early Childhood Linked to OCD
Heightened "Performance Monitoring" in Early Childhood Linked to OCD

Findings published in JAMA Psychiatry showed that heightened performance monitor...

Read more
New Study Questions Use of Talk Therapy as Treatment for Schizophrenia
New Study Questions Use of Talk Therapy as Treatment for Schizophrenia

The findings of the first meta-analysis examining the effectiveness of Cognitive...

Read more
What To Do When Depression Hits
What To Do When Depression Hits

When depression hits, not only is it difficult to motivate yourself to seek out ...

Read more