NEW JERSEY (CBSNewYork) -- The debate over whether to start the high school day later in the morning has now hit New Jersey.
As WCBS 880's Jim Smith reports, the medical community is weighing in on the benefits of kids hitting snooze.
New Jersey Town Considers Starting School Day Later To Give Teens Extra Sleep
Early to bed, early to rise is scientifically not the norm for teenagers whose changing hormones program them to stay up later.
"This is a neurobiological process that's happening as they age from childhood through teenage years," said Dr. Nathaniel Watson.
Dr. Watson is the incoming president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and says having the school day start at 7 a.m. is not productive.
"You're just creating a sleep-deprived teenager," Watson added.
Teenagers need at least 9½ hours of sleep nightly, but few get that, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Working against a full night's sleep is the typical high school schedule, with a large load of homework, tests and after-hours activities.
Now some districts like Tenafly are reportedly considering a slightly later start.
State Senator Dick Codey wants the idea studied statewide. Watson suggests at least 8:30 a.m. to prevent kids from sleeping though first period.
for more features.