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Effects of school start time on students’ sleep duration, daytime sleepiness, and attendance: a meta-analysis

Published:September 26, 2017DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleh.2017.08.004

      Abstract

      Research conducted over the past three decades finds that many children and adolescents do not meet recommended sleep guidelines. Lack of sleep is a predictor of a number of consequences, including issues at school such as sleepiness and tardiness. Considering the severity of this public health issue, it is essential to understand more about the factors that may compromise children's and adolescents' sleep. This meta-analysis examined the effects of school start time (SST) on sleep duration of students by aggregating the results of five longitudinal studies and 15 cross-sectional comparison group studies. Results indicated that later starting school times are associated with longer sleep durations. Additionally, later start times were associated with less daytime sleepiness (7 studies) and tardiness to school (3 studies). However, methodological considerations, such as a need for more longitudinal primary research, lead to a cautious interpretation. Overall, this systematic analysis of SST studies suggests that delaying SST is associated with benefits for students' sleep and, thus, their general well-being.

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