Reykjavík City Council has approved a three-year pilot project, starting in autumn 2024, to delay school start times for teenagers, Vísir reports. The initiative is the result of two studies led by Dr Erla Björnsdóttir on teen sleep duration.
Mental well-being on the decline
Following two studies on the sleep duration of teenagers in Reykjavík City primary schools, led by Dr Erla Björnsdóttir, the city council of Reykjavík has approved a three-year pilot project to delay the start of the school day for adolescents.
Beginning in the autumn of 2024, the school day for teenagers will start no earlier than 8:50 AM. Each school will be free to choose how best to adapt to this change, having the option of beginning the day later than 8:50 AM if it suits their school’s schedule.
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In a statement from the City of Reykjavík, it was noted that despite increased awareness of the importance of sleep, many teenagers still do not get enough. Moreover, the number of those not sleeping sufficiently is growing annually.
“At the same time as more teenagers are sleeping too little, studies show that their mental well-being is deteriorating. It is clear that there are significant connections between sleep and mental health,” the statement notes.
As noted by Vísir, a working group was established to propose the implementation and details of this delay, leading to the decision described above.
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