Survey says parents want later start to school days

Doctors say many students, especially teenagers, aren't getting enough sleep and it's hurting them medically and academically.

That's a convincing argument for parents in East Lansing.

"It can affect their ability to retain new information, it can affect their over health as far as diet it can lead to obesity, it can lead to their inability to regulate their own emotions," said Deanna Wennberg, Sparrow Fast Care Nurse Practitioner.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends middle and high schools to start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. to fight chronic lack of sleep in adolescents. With teenagers having more extra-curricular activities and added responsibility, their bedtimes are being pushed back causing them to get less sleep.

"So essentially they are not getting the required eight hours of sleep they need per night and that's affecting them negatively," said Wennberg.

More than 1,500 people took the survey between November 9th and November 21st. When asked about the ideal start time for high school students, 25% said 8:45 a.m., while 17% said to keep it the same at 7:45 a.m. The results for middle school and elementary school also came back higher for an 8:45 a.m. start, given the mental and physical impact of chronic fatigue.

"You might be a little bit more irritable, a little less ability to cope with changes or extreme pressures through out your day if you're fatigued," said Wennberg.

Doctors say this is something worth looking into. A later start time would be a later dismissal as well. Pushing back the first class to 8:45 a.m. would mean students would be in school until 3:45 p.m.

We'll let you know if East Lansing changes the time. You can find all the data from the survey at http://elps.k12.mi.us/