Navigation Links
Later School Start Time Cuts Teens' Car Crash Risk
Date:12/15/2008

A little more sleep means sharper young drivers, study suggests

MONDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Letting teens sleep a little more by starting the school day a bit later may lower their odds for car crash injury or death, a new study finds.

The researchers found a 16.5 percent drop in auto accident rates for teen drivers when local high schools moved the start of classes from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

The possible reason? More sleep, more alert driving, the researchers said.

After puberty, adolescents are biologically programmed to stay up about an hour later each night, explained Fred Danner, the University of Kentucky psychologist who co-authored the study. This shift in their biological clocks then conflicts with having to get up earlier to go to high school than they did when they were in middle school, he added.

"It's as if they are operating on West Coast time in an East Coast world," Danner said. People blame teenagers' sleep deprivation on computers and staying up late to e-mail friends, he added. "But there is evidence they get phase-shifted by at least an hour. So you've got biology pushing you later and then you've got the school systems starting an hour earlier. By the end of the week, [kids] are a wreck and our study shows they might actually be in one."

In the study, the researchers surveyed around 10,000 Kentucky students from grades 6 through 12 on their sleep habits and daytime functioning, including auto mishaps. The surveys were completed twice -- first in 1998, when school started at 7:30 a.m., and then again in 1999, when the start time had been moved to 8:30 a.m.

Besides the 16.5 percent drop in car crashes, the researchers also found that the number of students who got at least eight hours of sleep per night rose from 35.7 percent in 1998 to 50 percent after the later school time came into effect.

The study appears in the Dec. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

The average teenager probably needs at least eight hours and probably closer to nine hours of sleep, Danner said. And as little as an hour less sleep on school nights can have a cumulative effect. That means that by the end of the week, teens are as impaired as if they had stayed up for 24 hours straight, Danner explained.

Fatigued drivers cause about 100,000 accidents a year and over half of those drivers are 16 to 25 years old, according to the National Sleep Foundation. One 2006 survey by the foundation revealed that 28 percent of high school students fall asleep at school and 51 percent have driven while drowsy. Another recent study showed that sleep deprivation also leads to safety problems for college students. A survey of 262 students at the University of North Texas found that 17 percent of them reported falling asleep while driving.

While there are statistical limitations in the University of Kentucky study, "if you sleep longer and you are less sleepy you are less likely to have a wreck. It simply stands to reason," said Dr. Francisco Perez-Guerra, former director of the Scott & White Sleep Disorders Center at Texas A&M University.

"We have been talking about later morning starts for children for years," he added. "This is not a brand new thought."

However, there are practical and political obstacles to overcome for school systems to change the school day schedule for high school students. "If it could be done, it should be done. The question is, can it be done?" he said.

More information

There's more on getting good sleep at the National Sleep Foundation.



SOURCES: Fred Danner, Ph.D., director, educational counseling and psychology, University of Kentucky, Lexington; Francisco Perez-Guerra, M.D., professor, internal medicine, Health Science Center, College of Medicine, Texas A&M University, Temple, Texas; Dec. 15, 2008, Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Later school start times may improve sleep in adolescents and decrease risk of auto accidents
2. Low Childhood IQ Tied to Risk of Later Mental Disorders
3. Dont Disturb Your Circadian Rhythm This Black Friday Sleep In, Nap Later, says Specialty Sleep Association
4. General anesthesia for hernia surgery in children and risk of later developmental problems
5. Child abuse increases risk for later sexually coercive behavior in some men
6. Pioneer(R) Surgical Technology Announces the Market Release of its Cross-Fuse(TM) Lateral Vertebral Body Replacement (VBR) System
7. Later Use of Clot-Buster After Stroke Possible: Study
8. Dragon Dream Team Continues to Send Message of Hope a Year Later
9. Survivors of 1918 Flu Pandemic Immune 90 Years Later
10. One Year Later: Red Cross Helping Peru Earthquake Survivors Rebuild
11. Being Single in Midlife Could Raise Risk for Dementia Later
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Later School Start Time Cuts Teens' Car Crash Risk
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... ... The law firm of Morrow, Morrow, Ryan & Bassett is offering scholarships to ... to encourage applicants to pursue a degree in their field of study and upon ... “We have available jobs in St. Landry and Evangeline Parishes that can be filled ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Falls Church, VA (PRWEB) , ... February 12, ... ... in Store?, Feb. 29, 2016 — 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST, ... burner issue in the life cycle of pharmaceutical products, garnering increased attention from ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... T.E.N., a ... closed for the ISE Southeast Awards 2016. Finalists and winners of the ISE® ... Southeast Executive Forum and Awards Gala on March 15, 2016 at the Westin ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , ... February 12, 2016 , ... Fisher House Foundation ... Mayor John J. Lee, Nevada Military Support Alliance president Scott Bensing, and Peggy Kearns ... the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System. This will be the first Fisher House ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... Erlanger Agency ... the greater Columbus, OH area. The latest campaign focuses on the fight against breast ... Donations are now being accepted here . , Carmen is a loving single ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)...  Memorial Hermann Health System has teamed up with ... bring a one-of-a-kind experience to pediatric patients at ... as 360-degree video and Google Cardboard, Howard was able ... giving the patients and their families an unexpected, and ... on video . Memorial Hermann IRONMAN ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Feb. 12, 2016  Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ... the Company will ring the Nasdaq Closing Bell at ... York at 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, ... Adrian Adams , will perform the ... to 4:00 p.m. ET.  A live webcast will be ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... 2016 --> ... Inflammation Global Clinical Trials Review, H2, 2015 provides ... clinical trials landscape along with top level data ... (G7 & E7), Trial Status, Trial Phase, Sponsor ... companies involved and enlists all trials (Trial title, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: