Westchester Mom Founds Local Chapter of Start School Later
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Salvatore, who is a pediatrician at Greenwich Hospital, cites research on the sleep needs of adolescents, who are in the biggest growth spurt period of their lives. “In order to obtain optimum growth, the growth hormone must be stimulated, and it’s stimulated by—of all things—sleep. Adolescents need nine to 10 hours of sleep per night,” she says. “If my son is required to get up at 6am, he has to go to bed between 8pm and 9pm each night. What teenager does that?”
According to research by the National Sleep Foundation, lack of sleep can also lead to obesity, attention problems, and even drug use.
Salvatore says she hopes other parents will join her to petition their school boards to begin the school day at 8am rather than 7:30am or even earlier. Those interested in learning more about or getting involved with the Start School Later initiative should visit startschoollater.net.
“This is not just about ‘let’s get our way,’” Salvatore says. “This is about our kids’ health.”