Most schools start earlier than sleep experts recommend

Ashley La Ruse could use a later start to her day.

The Central High School junior is involved in a lot of activities at school, including sports. With homework, practice and games, she stays up late much of the week.

On a good night, she gets about eight hours of sleep, but if she has a game or a lot of homework, she can be awake until midnight and up at 6 a.m. to get to first period, which starts as early as 7:40 a.m. some days.

I need a lot of sleep, she said. I cant run on just a few hours.

Recent medical research highlights the need for high school and middle school students to get more sleep. The findings also show that teenagers naturally want to stay up lat