WESTPORT, Conn. — It's not unusual to see middle and high school students who aren't getting enough sleep. But a pair of Westport moms believe that a lack of sleep is keeping students from reaching their full potential, and are petitioning Westport schools to move their start times back.
Sleep for Success Westport is a nonprofit started by Founder, President and Webmaster Christine Meiers Schatz, along with Vice President Amy Kaplan. The aim of the nonprofit is to raise awareness about the importance of sleep for students' success, and how school start times can play an important role in adolescent physical and mental well-being.
The organization's website collects research and testimonials about the importance that sleep can play in the development of adolescents. Sleep for Success Westport cites information from pediatricians that adolescents can have difficulty falling asleep before 11 p.m. and waking up before 8 a.m., regardless of their sleep habits, and that in order for them to get the recommended eight to 10 hours each night, middle and high school should start no later than 8:30 a.m.
While Staples High School starts at 7:30 a.m., other area high school such as Wilton, Greenwich and Ridgefield have begun pushing their start times back.
"Although sleep has historically been viewed as a luxury that ambitious people cannot afford, we now know better. And it is past time for us to fix our school schedule for the sake of our kids’ health and future success," Sleep for Success Westport says on its site.
The first step in the organization increasing awareness about the importance of start times is circulating a petition to get the Westport Board of Education to commission a study on options for later start times and determine what costs would be associated.
Click here for more information on Sleep for Success Westport.