A study (ID# 1118) from Israel that is being presented as an oral presentation this morning at SLEEP 2008 shows that teens may have improved attention and concentration when their school start time is delayed.
The study involved 47 eighth-grade students from two classes. A control group began school at the regular time (7:30 a.m.) each day for two weeks. The experimental group began the schoolday one hour later (8:30 a.m.) during week one and then at the usual time during week two.
During the first week, students in the experimental group woke up an average of 51 minutes later each morning than students in the control group. Bedtime remained the same.
The experimental group performed better than the control group on two cognitive tests that were performed on the fifth day of the first week. They had a better overall attention score on a computerized test and made fewer mistakes on a paper-and-pencil test.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, teens need a little more than nine hours of sleep each night to be alert the next day.
The SLEEP 2008 abstract book is available online at http://www.journalsleep.org/PDF/AbstractBook2008.pdf.