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Teachers' preference for later school start times


Albrecht, Joëlle N; Werner, Helene; Yaw, Mei Ling; Jenni, Oskar G; Huber, Reto (2021). Teachers' preference for later school start times. Journal of Sleep Research:e13534.

Abstract

Early morning school start times conflict with biologically determined sleep phase preference and thus contribute to common sleep deficits. This conflict is most pronounced in adolescents, and numerous studies have confirmed that later school start times are beneficial for their sleep and health. However, the conflict continues to exist beyond adolescence and, accordingly, also teachers might benefit from later school start times, but this has gained little attention so far. Importantly, teachers' resistance to delay school start time is one of the key barriers for a successful implementation and, therefore, teachers' school start time preferences and influencing factors are important to consider. To this end, we conducted an online survey. Teachers (n = 694, 56.1% female) from 17 high schools in Zurich, Switzerland, participated in the study. They indicated their school start time preference. In addition, four predictor blocks were assessed: sociodemographic, school-/work-related, and sleep characteristics, as well as teachers' perception of students in the first morning lesson. Mixed models were applied to predict the preference. The majority (51%) endorsed later school start times (median preferred delay 25.2 min). School start time, sleep characteristics and perception of students in the first morning lesson were significant predictors for the preference. Thus, teachers with more misaligned sleep and higher awareness for students' issues in the early morning were more likely to report a preference. This suggests psychoeducation about sleep biology throughout life span to be an effective measure to increase teachers' support to delay school start time, especially because also they themselves are likely to benefit from later school start times.

Abstract

Early morning school start times conflict with biologically determined sleep phase preference and thus contribute to common sleep deficits. This conflict is most pronounced in adolescents, and numerous studies have confirmed that later school start times are beneficial for their sleep and health. However, the conflict continues to exist beyond adolescence and, accordingly, also teachers might benefit from later school start times, but this has gained little attention so far. Importantly, teachers' resistance to delay school start time is one of the key barriers for a successful implementation and, therefore, teachers' school start time preferences and influencing factors are important to consider. To this end, we conducted an online survey. Teachers (n = 694, 56.1% female) from 17 high schools in Zurich, Switzerland, participated in the study. They indicated their school start time preference. In addition, four predictor blocks were assessed: sociodemographic, school-/work-related, and sleep characteristics, as well as teachers' perception of students in the first morning lesson. Mixed models were applied to predict the preference. The majority (51%) endorsed later school start times (median preferred delay 25.2 min). School start time, sleep characteristics and perception of students in the first morning lesson were significant predictors for the preference. Thus, teachers with more misaligned sleep and higher awareness for students' issues in the early morning were more likely to report a preference. This suggests psychoeducation about sleep biology throughout life span to be an effective measure to increase teachers' support to delay school start time, especially because also they themselves are likely to benefit from later school start times.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Cognitive Neuroscience
Life Sciences > Behavioral Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:19 December 2021
Deposited On:27 Jan 2022 07:48
Last Modified:26 Apr 2024 01:40
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0962-1105
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/jsr.13534
PubMed ID:34923707
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)