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Later school day aids teens, study says

ASSOCIATED PRESS / July 6, 2010

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CHICAGO — Giving teens 30 extra minutes to start their school day leads to more alertness in class, better moods, less tardiness, and healthier breakfasts, a small study found.

“The results were stunning. There’s no other word to use,’’ said Patricia Moss, academic dean at the Rhode Island boarding school where the study was done. “We didn’t think we’d get that much bang for the buck.’’

The results appear in July’s Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. The results mirror those at a few schools that have delayed starting times more than half an hour.

Researchers say there’s a reason why even 30 minutes can make a big difference. Teens tend to be in their deepest sleep around dawn — when they typically need to rise for school. Interrupting that sleep can leave them groggy.

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