Sleep Deficiency in Adolescents: The School Start Time Debate

Clin Chest Med. 2022 Jun;43(2):239-247. doi: 10.1016/j.ccm.2022.02.008.


Adolescence is commonly accepted as a challenging time for sleep, with multiple factors contributing to sleep deficiency in adolescents. These include physiologic changes with shifts in their circadian rhythm; medical sleep disorders; and social, cultural, and environmental factors. Early school start times negatively affect sleep in adolescents as well, with poorer outcomes in their overall health, wellbeing, and performance. This article highlights the different contributing factors for sleep deficiency in adolescents and the consequences of sleep deficiency. In addition, the authors discuss the impact of delayed school start times in improving adolescents' sleep and overall function.

Keywords: Daytime sleepiness; Insomnia; Insufficient sleep; School start times; Teen sleep; Teenager.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology
  • Humans
  • Schools
  • Sleep* / physiology
  • Students*
  • Time Factors