Just a delay of 30 minutes in starting the school day boosted sleep times, mood, and health for adolescents.  Although this study involved teenagers, there are problems at every age with sleep deprivation and how it affects the workplace.

Therefore it is advantageous to examine the results of a recent study published in the July in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.  The average adolescent has difficulty falling asleep before 11 p.m.  That corresponds with a majority of working adults.  By providing these subjects with an extra 30 minutes in the morning, many felt so much better than many began going to bed a bit earlier.  Their full sleep cycle increased by 45 minutes, adding up to almost eight hours per night.

The results among those who increased the duration of their nighttime rest:

  • Daytime drowsiness dropped to 20% from 49%.
  • The number of students who labeled themselves depressed or unhappy decreased to 45% from 66%.
  • The number of missed or late first period classes declined to 44 from 80.
  • Reports from those feeling annoyed or irritated during the day went to 63% from 84%.
  • More students ate hot breakfasts.

While reading this, I kept thinking of clients who go to work earlier and earlier.  Either they want to beat the morning rush-hour traffic or they want to have a quiet uninterrupted time before the workday begins in earnest.  These motives are good, but is there a price in productivity as the day progresses?