According to the National Sleep Foundation and any teenager you may meet, they are not getting enough sleep. The National Sleep Foundations recommends that teenagers sleep between 8 to 10 hours a night but only 15% even get 8 and a half hours. Between early bus times, long school days, extracurriculars, homework, and family time each school day feels jam-packed and sleep is often the first thing to be sacrificed. It certainly doesn't take a scientist to realize that when sleep suffers, so do all other aspects of life.

Old Town High School and J.A. Leonard Middle School are tackling this issue head-on according to WGME. They have pushed back their start time from 8 to 8:30 am with student health in mind.

J.A. Leonard Middle School/Google Maps
J.A. Leonard Middle School/Google Maps

The key to their success thus far has been the addition of new bus routes that serve the two schools as well as local elementary schools, as well as adjusting extracurricular times. Busses do have an early route so that if students need extra help with their work they can go in at 7:40 am for assistance. The school has also allowed that time to be used for club meetings and even sports practices.

It's still too early to know if the change is a long-term success but if it is, should other Maine schools follow their example?

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