Please read Blog Post 6 which discusses the benefits of extra sleep and highlights the fact that even small amounts of extra sleep make a big difference. Delaying school start times allows middle and high school students more time to sleep in the morning and benefits occur, over time, even when the amount of extra sleep is only 2.4 minutes!
A 2021 study by Professor Lisa Meltzer documented that delaying middle school start times by 40-60 minutes later and delaying high school start times by 70 minutes allowed middle schoolers to have 29 minutes extra sleep and high schoolers 45 minutes extra sleep. These students had significantly less daytime sleepiness! An indication that they were no longer clinically sleep deprived was that “weekend oversleep dropped” dramatically because they were no longer needing to “catch-up” on sleep on weekends.
For pre-school children, even babies, many studies have shown that an early bedtime produces more night sleep (even if the wake-up time is earlier) compared to a late bedtime. A late bedtime might be associated with a later wake-up time and/or longer naps, but neither a later wake-up time nor longer naps fully compensate for less night sleep. Further, the early bedtime produces better quality sleep because sleep is occurring more in synchrony with circadian sleep rhythms. Blog Post 7 describes the benefits of early bedtimes.
So how do you get an early bedtime?