Students need more sleep - at home, not in class

Thursday, July 14, 2016
 | 
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

alarm clock waking upThe American Medical Association is urging public schools to start classes later in the morning. 

It's a timely warning, given the fact that many schools around the U.S. will begin classes in August.

The AMA says inadequate sleep for middle and high schools students can lead to poor memory performance and an unhealthy body mass index, among other things. However, Dr. Tom Benton of the Christian Medical Association says many teens may not follow the AMA’s recommendations.

"[American Medical Association has] identified you need nine-and-a-half hours of sleep and you move the start time to 8:30 instead of 7:30,” he says. “It does not necessarily follow that [teenagers] are going to get nine-and-a-half hours of sleep, [because] they could very well decide to do other things instead."

Benton believes it should be up to the local school districts to decide when to start classes.

"I don't have a strong recommendation you should do it this way or that,” the doctor tells OneNewsNow. “I think that each school district should take into consideration where you are, how late is the sun up, what time does the sun go down, and what other activities typically happen after school - and try and come to a conclusion based on that."

A recent study shows that only 32 percent of American teens are getting at least eight hours of sleep on an average school night.

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