School Start Times Health Advisory

In puberty a natural shift occurs in the timing of the body’s internal “circadian” clock, causing most teens to have a biological preference for a late-night bedtime. It is important that parents and local school boards work together to implement high school start times that allow teens to get the healthy sleep they need to meet their full potential.

The AASM believes that middle school and high school start times should be 8:30 AM or later, which should help promote:

  • An adequate opportunity for adolescents to obtain sufficient sleep on school nights
  • Optimal alertness in the classroom environment to facilitate peak academic performance
  • Reduced tardiness and school absences to foster improved opportunities for learning
  • Adolescent mental health and psychological well-being
  • Adolescent driving safety

Adopted by the AASM Board of Directors: Feb. 17, 2014

Updated by the AASM Board of Directors: Aug. 18, 2017