Tuesday, January 28, 2020

In many Oklahoma high schools, 'the health risks are alarming'

"For what is likely a majority of Oklahoma high school students, start times for school days are earlier than what medical experts and researchers say is best for their academic performance and their chances of avoiding physical and mental health problems," Oklahoma Watch reports. "The early school bells often cause students to get fewer than the recommended 8 to 10 hours of sleep, because many stay up well into the night."
The health risks are alarming. In 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement recommending that middle and high schools start classes no earlier than 8:30 a.m. 
“The research is clear that adolescents who get enough sleep have a reduced risk of being overweight or suffering depression, are less likely to be involved in automobile accidents, and have better grades, higher standardized test scores and an overall better quality of life,” said Dr. Judith Owens, lead author of the statement. Lack of sleep also contributes to obesity and diabetes, the CDC said. 
The pediatrics academy noted that teenagers’ natural sleep cycles make it difficult for them to fall asleep before 11 p.m.

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