High schools in Philadelphia have recently made the decision to delay the start of the school day to 9 a.m. to help teenage students feel more alert. A few New Jersey high schools have followed suit, but should more?

The move comes in light of research that shows that if teenagers get more sleep in the morning, their grades improve, Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

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Currently, the bell rings around 7:30 a.m. to signal the start of the high school day in New Jersey. Could having an extra hour and a half boost academic performance?

Chatham High School in Morris County, New Jersey recently announced they'll be moving the start of the 2022-2023 school day from 7:20 a.m. to 8:20 a.m., NJ.com reports, over concerns their teen students don't get enough sleep.

Matheus Farias/unsplash
Matheus Farias/unsplash

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia psychologist and researcher Ariel Williamson tells The Inquirer, 'Teens’ sleep patterns shift later when they go through puberty, and they need more sleep to function well.'

I remember turning 15 and all of a sudden turning into a ZOMBIE in the morning (darn, those adolescent brain chemicals). I felt like Sleeping Beauty. That, combined with having to catch the bus on days when it was still dark outside, definitely messed with my focus throughout the school day.


Medical research and expertise seems to back up what I was going through. 'If you’re tired and you’re going to school, you might be falling asleep during first period,' says Arun Handa, a psychiatrist and sleep medicine physician at CHOP. 'If it’s delayed a little bit, you may be paying attention, be making it to school on time.'

woman in bed awakening

Think back to when YOU were in high school. Can you relate? Are you the parent of a high school teen you have to DRAG out of bed in the morning? Vote in our poll below.

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