Study examines mental health benefits of starting school later in the day

Published 17 June 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Studies in other countries suggest that students who start later feel better and their performance improves.

In a new study, sleep researchers will examine high school students. The idea is to find out whether a later school start in the morning can prevent mental illness among young people.

Sleep researcher Malin Jakobsson at the School of Health and Welfare in Jönköping will investigate how students’ mental health, school performance and sleep are affected by starting school an hour later in the morning. She says that studies in other countries show that young people who start school an hour later generally sleep 45 minutes more than before, and that mental health and academic performance improve.

– We hope to see these great results in Sweden. And of course we hope that other schools will want to take part in the project in the future, says Jakobsson in a press release.

In grades eight and nine at Engelbrektskolan in Borås, students will be able to start at nine o’clock in the coming fall semester, and this will continue throughout the school year.

– Our student health team has noticed that more and more students are suffering from mental illness, which has a negative impact on school attendance and results. After reading articles about studies showing that more sleep can prevent mental illness, we want to try a later school start to see if we can improve students’ well-being, says Helén Frick, deputy headteacher at Engelbrektskolan.

The project is based on surveys and interviews with students. Bodaskolan, also in Borås, will serve as a control school and will continue to start at eight in the morning. Approximately 200-250 students from each school will participate in the study.

TNT is truly independent!

We don’t have a billionaire owner, and our unique reader-funded model keeps us free from political or corporate influence. This means we can fearlessly report the facts and shine a light on the misdeeds of those in power.

Consider a donation to keep our independent journalism running…