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date: 16 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Insufficient sleep in adolescents is widely regarded as a public health concern that can negatively affect students’ academic achievement, as well as impact physical and emotional wellbeing. While a number of social and biological dynamics contribute to sleep deprivation in this population, research is increasingly pointing to early school start times as a significant modifiable factor. The consensus across researchers is that delaying school start times is an effective intervention in successfully attenuating sleep deprivation and may foster positive benefits for physical and mental health, student safety, and academic performance. Despite compelling results, the issue remains emotionally and politically contentious, with both pragmatic considerations and passionately held beliefs acting as barriers to change. Future research is needed to dispel myths and provide sufficient objective data to elucidate the benefits of later start times for both students and communities.

Keywords: school start times, sleep deprivation, sleep patterns, adolescents, education

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