New California Law Mandates Later School Start Times So Teens Can Catch Up On Sleep

These days, kids and teens are expected to have jam-packed days filled with long hours at school followed by extra-curricular activities.

Many schools now begin before 8 a.m. and experts say that these early start times are making it impossible for young people to get the sleep they need.

When it comes to sleep, teens do a lot of it, but it's not because they're lazy.

Unsplash | Vladislav Muslakov

While it may seem that your teen would sleep all day if you let them, a teen's increased need for sleep during this growth phase is necessary on physical and psychological levels, experts say.

For years, doctors and sleep experts have been pushing for later start times in school to help ensure kids and teens get the sleep they need.

Unsplash | Shubham Sharan

These experts say that there are a lot of benefits to these later start times.

For one, later start times have a positive effect on student success and learning.

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Later start times have also been shown to reduce tardiness and boost attendance rates.

Now, California has become the first state to mandate later start times for schools.

According to the new law, high schools can start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. and middle schools can start no earlier than 8:00 a.m.

The law will be phased into schools over the next three years.

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It's unclear if other states will follow with similar laws, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 90% of American high school start class before 8 a.m.

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