The authors have integrated the major findings on the sleep-wake cycle and its performance correlates in adolescents. Basic research shows that lack of synchronicity between early school start times and the circadian rhythm of adolescents (and the sleep debt accumulated as a result) involves several cognitive correlates that may harm the academic performance of adolescent students. The authors therefore examined findings from pilot interventions in which schools delayed their start times; specifically, they examined the effects on students, including potential pitfalls and strategies to consider for effective scheduling change. There is sufficient evidence that adolescent students would benefit from delaying school start times and that this change can be implemented with tolerable consequences if adequately strategized by school districts and communities.

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Keywords circadian rhythm, school starting times, sleep, student performance
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Journal Educational Researcher
Kirby, M. (Matthew), Maggi, S, & D'Angiulli, A. (2011). School start times and the sleep-wake cycle of adolescents: A review and critical evaluation of available evidence. Educational Researcher (Vol. 40, pp. 56–61). doi:10.3102/0013189X11402323