State Sen. Richard J. Codey, D-Essex, plans to introduce legislation asking the state Education Department to study the benefits of later start times for middle schools and high schools. The New Jersey Sleep Society supports these efforts and offered our support in a letter to the Senator:
Dear Senator Codey,
The New Jersey Sleep Society applauds your interest in improving education by moving school start times back for adolescents. As you know, it is not laziness but a natural change in the biological clock that makes adolescents “night owls” as opposed to the “early birds” they were as children. Many studies have shown that in high schools where the start time was moved back by as much as an hour, grades, test scores, and behavior improved. While there are reasonable objections to changing the school schedule these can, and have been addressed in other communities. Please accept our support in your efforts, and feel free to call on us for background information, scientific data, or any other way we can help.
Lee J. Brooks, MD
President, New Jersey Sleep Society