Earlier Start to School Days Could Lead to More Teen Car Accidents

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If you're not a morning person, this new study just might give you a reason to get more sleep. According to research, starting school days earlier could lead to more car accidents involving teens.

"Teenagers need over nine hours sleep a night, and it looks like a large number of teens don't get sufficient sleep... part of that relates to the time that high schools begin," said the conductor of the study, Dr. Robert Vorona, an associate professor of internal medicine in the Division of Sleep Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va.

The study compared 2008 crash rates for high school students in two Virginia cities. The students in Virginia Beach started classes at 7:20 a.m. while the students in Chesapeake began school at 8:40 a.m. Virginia Beach not only logged a higher overall teen accident rate, but the city topped Chesapeake in teen crashes by 41 percent.

"There are data that demonstrate that lack of sleep has negative consequences for teens," Dr. Verona said. "And some data show that younger drivers are more likely to have crashes when they have inadequate sleep."
What time does school start for you? Do you think you get enough rest every night, or do you feel sleep-deprived during the day? No matter what time school begins, try to make sure you're getting enough shut-eye each night. It does a body good. %Poll-47956%

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