Parents look forward to the bi-annual shifting of clocks about as much as they enjoy waking their sleepy kids for school in the morning. Lawmakers have proposed permanent Daylight Savings and later school start times as an effort to help kids get more sleep, but some experts believe the two do not go hand-in-hand.

Across the country lawmakers are considering moves to change the way we sleep by pushing for permanent Daylight Savings and delaying start times for school. The argument, for California State Assembly member Kansen Chu, is that the two changes work together to help provide more sleep for kids without losing hours in the day.

photo: Wokandapix via Pixabay

Experts, including the US Centers for Disease Control agree that school begins too early in the day and that pushing the start time could help teens get more, much-needed sleep. Adding permanent Daylight Savings ensures that there are still plenty of daylight hours left for after school activities even if school starts later, proponents argue.

Unfortunately Daylight Savings is linked to less sleep, not more, effectively cancelling out any additional sleep kids might gain from a later school start. According to new research published in the Journal of Health Economics, people who live in areas where the sun sets later go to bed later shortening the amount of time they spend sleeping an average of 19 minutes. The researchers also found these same subjects to be more sleep-deprived and in worse health overall.

So if this combo is not the answer to getting kids more rest, then what is? According to a recent study only five percent of teens follow the recommendations given for sleep, exercise and screen time. Following these guidelines properly could help everyone get the proper amount of rest without any new laws and changes.

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—Shahrzad Warkentin

 

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