Early School Starts Can Turn Teens Into 'Zombies'

Now that school is back in full swing, time to readjust your regimen. Teens and their teachers know well that early-morning classes can be grueling. Doctors now have a prescription: For better teen health, push the snooze button on school start times.

Janet Croft studies teens and sleep at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Ga. U.S. high schools, she says, “start at such an early time that most teens are essentially brain dead when they go to these early classes.”

As a result, she says, too many students start their day as “walking zombies.” Too little sleep has become so common among teens that the CDC calls it an epidemic, or a widespread public-health problem.

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