Can later school start times increase the performance of high school students?
Adolescents tend to have a preference for staying active until late in the evening and waking up late in the morning. This timing of daily activity is not only due to changes in their social life and the use of electronic devices that keep teenagers awake in the evening. This pattern is also a result of changes in both circadian and homeostatic regulation of sleep.
During puberty, the adolescent circadian system naturally delays the onset of sleep (transition from wakefulness to sleep) to a later time. Additionally, the homeostatic regulation of sleep is also modified in younger adolescents, due to decreased sleep pressure during wake periods.
Resulting from this situation, most adolescents do not get the recommended daily sleep (8-10 hours) for this age due to being forced to wake up early. A solution to this problem could be delaying school starting times.
Increasing sleep duration can be seen as essential due to the clear negative physical and mental outcomes associated with chronic sleep deprivation. Any action resulting in longer daily sleep duration should also increase academic performance.