Later school starting times make for better students.

Laboratory Equipment explains why moving the morning bell a little later makes education more effective:

Julie Boergers, a psychologist and sleep expert from the Bradley Hasbro Children’s Research Center, a division of the Lifespan health system, recently led a study linking later school start times to improved sleep and mood in teens. The article appears in the current issue of the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics.

Boergers’ team administered the School Sleep Habits Survey to boarding students attending an independent high school both before and after their school start time was experimentally delayed from 8 to 8:25 a.m. during the winter term.

The delay in school start time was associated with a significant (29 minute) increase in sleep duration on school nights, with the percentage of students receiving eight or more hours of sleep on a school night jumping from 18 to 44 percent. The research found that younger students and those sleeping less at the start of the study were most likely to benefit from the schedule change. And once the earlier start time was reinstituted during the spring term, teens reverted back to their original sleep levels.