Some advocates, including the National Sleep Foundation, say early school start times interfere with healthy sleep. This may be especially true among teenagers, whose circadian rhythms may shift toward later waking times. In 2015, another study found high rates of sleep deprivation among teenagers.
Does Homeschooling Improve Sleep?
Researchers looked at 2,612 students, including nearly 500 homeschooled kids. On average, homeschooled students slept 90 minutes more each night than their public and private school peers. Children who attended school outside of the home awoke early enough to be in class an average of 18 minutes before homeschooled children awoke.
Overall, 55% of homeschooled students got an adequate amount of sleep each week, though just 24% of children attending school outside of the home slept enough. About 16% of homeschooled children got “insufficient” sleep during the week, compared to 44% of private and public school students.
The Importance of Healthy Sleepparents might insist the solution is for teens to go to bed earlier, the study’s authors caution that biological changes during adolescence can make this difficult. Most teens’ biological clocks shift forward about two hours during adolescence, necessitating later bedtimes and later waking times.
The National Sleep Foundation recently changed its sleep recommendations for children and young adults:
- Children ages 6-13 should get 9-11 hours of sleep each night.
- Teenagers ages 14-17 need 8-10 hours of sleep each night.
- Young adults ages 18-25 need 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
- National Sleep Foundation recommends new sleep times. (2015, February 2). Retrieved from https://sleepfoundation.org/media-center/press-release/national-sleep-foundation-recommends-new-sleep-times
- Study: Homeschooled kids sleep more than others. (2016, March 2). Retrieved from http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-03/m-shk030216.php
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