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Later School Start Times for Teens Could Help Productivity

Father Waking up Son
Photograph by Getty Images/Fuse

We can still remember that gut-wrenching feeling every morning our parents came in to wake us up (too early) for high school. What time was it? OK, so it was probably at a decent hour, now that we look back, but it still feels like we were being pulling from dreamland at 4 a.m. every day. Until about 11 a.m., all our friends were like zombies in the classroom.

But why? Research says that teens are their most productive later on in the day, which means school shouldn't be so early!

We hate to say we told you so, mom and dad!

Moving on. Studies have shown that teenagers' body clocks actually run between two and four hours behind adults. Our circadian rhythms change around when we hit puberty and then change once more around the age of 21.

While some schools believe that starting early means kids will be more alert, they could actually have it all wrong, as there haven't been many benefits associated with early school hours for teens.

Another topic that's being researched in more depth is whether weekend classes will help or hurt kids. While we're not doctors here, we would tend to lean toward the latter. We can see students getting upset that their school days are just blending in with their days off.

What do you think? What if your teen's school started at 11 a.m. instead of 9 a.m.? In addition to shifting students' schedules, parents would probably have to stay home later to make sure the kids actually leave for school, which means mom and dad would end up working later, too.

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