New California Law Mandates Later School Start Times So Teens Can Catch Up On Sleep

Emily McWilliams 23 Oct 2019

These days, kids and teens are expected to have jam-packed days filled with long hours at school followed by extra-curricular activities.

Many schools now begin before 8 a.m. and experts say that these early start times are making it impossible for young people to get the sleep they need.

When it comes to sleep, teens do a lot of it, but it's not because they're lazy.

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While it may seem that your teen would sleep all day if you let them, a teen's increased need for sleep during this growth phase is necessary on physical and psychological levels, experts say.

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For years, doctors and sleep experts have been pushing for later start times in school to help ensure kids and teens get the sleep they need.

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These experts say that there are a lot of benefits to these later start times.

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For one, later start times have a positive effect on student success and learning.

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Later start times have also been shown to reduce tardiness and boost attendance rates.

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Now, California has become the first state to mandate later start times for schools.

According to the new law, high schools can start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. and middle schools can start no earlier than 8:00 a.m.

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The law will be phased into schools over the next three years.

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It's unclear if other states will follow with similar laws, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 90% of American high school start class before 8 a.m.

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