Web Exclusive: Sleep is precious for teenagers

Web Exclusive: Sleep is precious for teenagers

(CNN) - Your kids are getting sleepy really, really sleepy.  The debate over what time is best for kids to start their school day has been debated for years in schools across the country, but when, really is the optimal time for schools to kick off the day for kids?

This is really a fascinating study.  It shows just how precious every minute is for kids. Because while they are growing and learning, the right balance of sleep is key.

The Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics tested this out at a boarding high school, where it was easy to adjust the start time for the school day.  Here's what they found:
a small 25-minute delay in start time from 8 a.m. to 8:25 a.m. in this case brought a huge gain to the kids.

The students:
-got a better sleep the night before
-were less tired during the day
-had better moods
-and relied on caffeine less.

All of these factors combined, set kids up for better productivity and more learning throughout the day. And the big bonus -- the research shows that the improvement in all of those areas leads to healthier kids.

It's hard to believe just a mere 25 minute delay could benefit kids so much, but some researchers think it all has to do with those circadian rhythms of sleep.

It's especially important for teens to develop good habits early on in life to avoid a pattern of sleep deprivation.



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