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Lois M. Collins: School start times are designed for everything but the kids we're trying to educate (2 photos)

By Lois M. Collins, Deseret News National Edition

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 26 2014 9:22 p.m. MDT

The American Academy of Pediatrics says we're starting school too early for teenagers to thrive. It's a simple fix, it says, but one that policymakers seem reluctant to take for a lot of reasons, although early start times puts kids at risk.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says we're starting school too early for teenagers to thrive. It's a simple fix, it says, but one that policymakers seem reluctant to take for a lot of reasons, although early start times puts kids at risk. (Shutterstock)

In a release urging later start times, the policy statement’s lead author, Dr. Judith Owens, says that “chronic sleep loss in children and adolescents is one of the most common — and easily fixable — public health issues in the U.S. today.” Teens who get enough sleep, she says, are less likely to be overweight, depressed or have car crashes. They are more apt to get higher grades, earn better standardized test scores and enjoy “an overall better quality of life.”

In a release urging later start times, the policy statement’s lead author, Dr. Judith Owens, says that “chronic sleep loss in children and adolescents is one of the most common — and easily fixable — public health issues in the U.S. today.” Teens who get enough sleep, she says, are less likely to be overweight, depressed or have car crashes. They are more apt to get higher grades, earn better standardized test scores and enjoy “an overall better quality of life.” (©istockphoto.com/KatarzynaBialasiewicz)