School Start Times, Brand Names, and Too Much Ground Beef: TMSIDK Episode 31

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Starting all U.S. middle and high schools at 8:30 a.m. would add roughly $9 billion per year to GDP. (Photo: David Joyce/flickr)

Teenagers have different sleep-wake cycles than adults and young children, but middle and high schools in the U.S. still expect them to be ready to learn at 8 a.m. or earlier. Major medical organizations recommend that middle and high schools start at 8:30 a.m. or later to accommodate teenagers’ biology.

Later school start times would have benefits beyond increasing teenagers’ health. One researcher found that starting schools at 8:30 a.m. nationwide would add about $9 billion per year to GDP in the U.S. To put that into perspective: that’s roughly the annual revenue of Major League Baseball.

Alex Wagner (CBS This Morning SaturdayThe Atlantic) is our special guest co-host, with AJ Jacobs (author of It’s All Relative) as real-time fact-checker. We filled this episode with insights about the true value of ground beef, sleeping in, company names, and more.