• The AAP, CDC, and AMA, among others, have issued policy statements recommending that adolescents get 8.5-10 hours of sleep each night and that the secondary school day begin at 8:30 a.m. or later.
  • In NJ, the vast majority of schools (86%) start their days before 8:30 a.m.
  • Adolescents experience a circadian rhythm or “sleep phase shift” that inhibits them from falling asleep before 11 pm, and keeps their brains in “sleep mode” until about 8 am.
  • Car crash rates decreased by 16.5% when school start time was moved one hour later.
  • Hundreds of school districts nationwide over the last two decades have shifted their school start times and seen results such as increased student sleep, improved educational outcomes, and improved mental health.

Task Force On Adolescent Sleep and School Start Times

The NJAAP Task Force on Adolescent Sleep & School Start Times was established in Spring 2019 to raise awareness & educate about the importance of improved adolescent sleep and mental health. The Task Force supports policy changes to promote the physical and mental health and well-being of students. NJAAP supports efforts to delay middle and high school start times to 8:30am or later in alignment with the National AAP Policy Statement, School Start Times for Adolescents.

Click here to view:

Wendy Troxel: Why school should start later for teens | TED Talk

Teens don’t get enough sleep, and it’s not because of Snapchat, social lives or hormones – it’s because of public policy, says Wendy Troxel. Drawing from her experience as a sleep researcher, clinician and mother of a teenager, Troxel discusses how early school start times deprive adolescents of sleep during the time of their lives when they need it most.

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Marcela Betzer, MPH

Program Director