Sleep Myth Monday: Sleepy Teens in School

This is the latest installment of a regular feature here at Sleep Myth Monday, where we bust sleep myths wide open, or verify that they’re actually not myths at all.

Myth or Truth: If your high schooler falls asleep in class, it may not be a sign that he/she is sleep deprived.


While it’s hard to discount boredom being the reason that some kids fall asleep at school, for many teens it’s just due to how they’re wired.  Consider this from the National Sleep Foundation:

According to sleep experts, teens need at least 8.5 – 9.25 hours of sleep each night, compared to an average of seven to nine hours each night for most adults. Their internal biological clocks also keep them awake later in the evening and keep them sleeping later in the morning. However, many schools begin classes early in the morning, when a teenager’s body wants to be asleep. As a result, many teens come to school too sleepy to learn, through no fault of their own.

Because of more information from research into teen sleep, many schools are considering moving their start time back one hour.