The National Sleep Foundation says teenagers need about eight to 10 hours of sleep each night, but few get it.
Researchers have long recommended that high schools push back start times to be later in the morning, departing from the average 8 a.m. call time for class. While the benefits of making school start later could be many for teens — including better performance in school, fewer reports of depression, and more — Adam Conover of truTV’s Adam Ruins Everything noted in a recent episode that the impact could also literally save lives. He knows this because in a recent episode of the show, he ruined sleep.
“Basically, what researchers found is our circadian rhythms … change as we age. Teens need a little more sleep than adults, nine hours or so, and they also are hardwired to go to sleep later and to wake up later in the morning,” Adam told Teen Vogue. Because teens are biologically driven to go to sleep and wake up later, Adam said most teens are sleep deprived likely because they have to wake up early for school. This, he said, can have deadly consequences. “The result [of sleep deprivation] is really bad for the teens because it lowers their performance in school, but also drowsy driving is a serious problem.”