Pediatricians say later school start times may help students suc

Pediatricians say later school start times may help students succeed

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You might blame cell phones, computers and televisions, but teens are staying up later, so some pediatricians say schools should let them sleep in longer. You might blame cell phones, computers and televisions, but teens are staying up later, so some pediatricians say schools should let them sleep in longer.
"As society has moved along, now we have things that keep us awake after the sun goes down," said Children's Hospital pediatrician Mary Palmer. "As society has moved along, now we have things that keep us awake after the sun goes down," said Children's Hospital pediatrician Mary Palmer.
By SHELBY MILLER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - You might blame cell phones, computers and televisions, but teens are staying up later, so some pediatricians say schools should let them sleep in longer.

A new study, released from the American Academy of Pediatrics, says chronic sleep has become the norm and local pediatricians agree.

More online: Read the full study

"As society has moved along, now we have things that keep us awake after the sun goes down," said Children's Hospital pediatrician Mary Palmer.

Palmer says as the popularity of electronics continues to climb, they're seeing more students suffer from a lack of sleep.

"You have to have a time to process and decompress and if you're still multitasking, which most of our electronics have us doing. I mean, we're going from email to Twitter and there's just so many inputs, so you have to have less distractors," Palmer said.

Palmer says shutting of electronics 30 minutes before bedtime would help students get more shut eye.

Studies show nearly 90 percent of students get less than 8.5 hours of sleep a night.

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests middle and high schools not start the day until 8:30 a.m., to help combat the concern.

"People who have disrupted sleep patters become less productive and have more problems," Palmer said.

Sleep doesn't just make it tougher for students to focus at school, doctors say it can also lead to depression and obesity. All of which are problems pediatricians worry about. They hope studies, like this, help students change their sleep habits.

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