Later School Start Time Means Happier Students
Adolescents need lots of sleep, have odd body clocks
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2010 4:10 PM CDT
Later high school start times can improve students' moods and even their health, according to new research.   (?A. Blight)
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(Newser) – Starting high school classes just 30 minutes later leads to marked improvement in students' moods and even their overall health, CNN reports. Teens need 8½ to 9¼ hours of sleep a night, and biological changes associated with adolescence mean they naturally fall asleep later than younger kids. In a small sample—200 high school students—starting school at 8:30 rather than 8am lowered the number of students who described themselves as "unhappy, depressed, annoyed or irritated," says a new study.

Fewer students visited the health center complaining of fatigue-related ailments after the change, and attendance improved, reports Scientific American. "If you really need nine hours, and you're only getting six and a half hours or seven hours, even that extra half-hour can make a big difference," says the study's lead author.