Sleep Education

American Academy of Sleep Medicine 

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Student Sleep Health Week

Student Sleep Health Week
The first Student Sleep Health Week will take place Sept. 14-20, 2020. It is organized by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) to drive awareness of the importance of healthy sleep for students of all ages to learn, grow and thrive.

Stats and Facts

A July survey of more than 1,000 parents found that:

Students do not get enough sleep on school nights.
  • More than half of parents (57%) with school-age children say that they have a child/teen who does not get enough sleep on school nights.

Sleep has an impact on students’ overall health and wellbeing.

  • Nine out of 10 parents acknowledge that sleep affects their children’s’ mood (94%), performance in school (93%), physical health (92%), mental health (90%), performance in sports or other activities (90%).

There are many barriers to students getting healthy sleep.

  • Homework and early school start times are the top culprits impacting students’ sleep on school nights, according to 90% of parents, followed by time with friends (87%), social media/electronics use (86%), hobbies (86%), sports (85%), chores/job (83%) and band/music/clubs (78%).

Why does sleep matter?

Getting enough sleep is critical to the health and well-being of students of all ages. Sufficient sleep helps students:

  • Excel in the classroom by maximizing attention, memory and learning abilities
  • Perform better in sports by being faster, stronger and more accurate
  • Feel positive and have a more optimistic attitude toward life
  • Look their best and maintain a healthy weight
  • Have fun and enjoy life by making better decisions and staying safe

The benefits of healthy sleep require not only adequate sleep duration, but also appropriate timing, daily regularity, good sleep quality and the absence of sleep disorders.

When students don’t get the recommended hours of healthy sleep on a regular basis, it can lead to:

  • Behavior and learning problems
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Mental health problems

How much sleep do students need?

The AASM recommends:

  • Elementary School: Children 6-12 years of age should sleep nine to 12 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Middle and High School: Teenagers 13-18 years of age should sleep eight to 10 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.

Use the AASM’s Bedtime Calculator to identify the appropriate bedtime by age and wake time, available at

How can students improve their sleep?

The back-to-school transition is an ideal time to get back on track with your sleep schedule.

  • Begin to transition to a more structured sleep schedule at least two weeks before school starts.
  • Gradually shift bedtime at least 15 minutes earlier each night and wake time 15 minutes earlier each morning until on the right schedule.
  • Create a quiet, cool sleep environment.
  • Develop a relaxing nightly routine, which may include reading, journaling or taking a warm bath or shower.
  • Restrict screen time before bed.
  • Maintain a consistent sleep schedule, whether classes are held in-person, online or in a hybrid format, including getting up and going to bed at regular times.

What time should school start?

According to the AASM, more than half of Americans (54%) say that school starts too early in the morning for middle school and high school students. In addition, 90% of parents say that early school start times have an impact on their child/teen’s ability to get enough sleep on school nights.

The AASM recommends a national standard of middle school and high school start times of 8:30 AM or later.

Why? During adolescence, internal circadian rhythms and biological sleep drive change to result in later sleep and wake times. As a result of these changes, early middle school and high school start times can:

  • Curtail sleep
  • Hamper a student’s preparedness to learn
  • Negatively impact physical and mental health
  • Impair driving safety

Delaying school start times positively impacts student achievement, health and safety, and support is needed by educators to ensure that extracurricular activities don’t interfere with students’ need for healthy sleep.

Take action: Support student sleep health

H.Res.1103, introduced by Rep. Zoe Lofgren and cosponsored by Rep. Rodney Davis, supports official designation for National Student Sleep Health! Click here to ask your Congressperson to cosponsor the resolution!

About Student Sleep Health Week

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine is conducting the first-ever Student Sleep Health Week (SSHW), from Sept. 14-20, 2020, to help students get the healthy sleep they need to excel this school year. Learn more about the supporting partners:

Whether you’re a student, parent, caretaker or educator, you play a key role in ensuring all students have the opportunity to get enough sleep and develop healthy sleep habits that will last a lifetime. Educators can visit to access K-12 lesson plans and activities to generate interest in the study of sleep medicine and to raise awareness of sleep disorders.