Can You Blame Biology For Your Teen’s Bad Grades?
What’s the secret to helping your teen get better grades?
And, what’s the secret to getting him or her to be less sullen and moody?
The answer might surprise you. It’s the same answer to both questions: more sleep!
According to the Sleep Foundation, teens need between 8 ½ and 9 ¼ hours of sleep per night. They also, however, have biological difficulty falling asleep before 11 pm.
If teens need about 9 hours of sleep, and hit the sheets around 11 pm, that means that they should be waking up bright-eyed and ready to go around 8 am.
By the time that they have breakfast, and get ready for school, then leave for school, they should be right on time for their 10 am class, ready to learn!
Teen Biology + Early School Start Times = Lack Of Sleep And Poor Grades
Here’s the problem: most high school’s first classes begin between 8-9 am (some even earlier.)
This results in sleepy students. (Studies report that up to 20% of teens fall asleep in class on a regular basis.) And, as any parent of a teen can tell you, it also results in a severe case of the grumps.
It can also be linked to increase in teenage car accidents!
And not surprisingly, it results in poor grades.
One researcher says that sleep deprivation in teens is “three strikes against learning,” because 1) students aren’t alert enough to learn properly in class, 2) they aren’t mentally storing the information that they are learning correctly, and 3) they are not getting the sleep that they need in order to process learned information and transfer it to long-term memories.
That’s why some approximate 80 school districts across the USA are implementing later start times for highschoolers. The results of the later school start times are impressive:
• Less grumpiness
• Improvement in general health and nutrition
• Less falling asleep in class—about 20% less
• Less reported feelings of depression
• Less absenteeism
• Improved grades
What time does your teen’s high school start? Do you think it’s too early? We’d love to hear your thoughts!