Sleepy Students Need Breakfast

The Lempert Report
March 24, 2015

With schools looking at later start times to help sleepy students, supermarkets should start prepping the breakfast options!

According to a recent study, adolescents have been gradually logging less and less sleep over the past 20 years. LiveScience reports that surveys from the early 1990s found 52 percent of 15-year-olds and 36 percent of 18- year-olds got at least seven hours of shut-eye a nigh. In 2011 to 2012, those numbers dropped to 43 and 33 percent, respectively. 

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that teens age 14 to 17 get 8 - 10 hours sleep, while  18- and 19-year-olds should aim for seven to nine. But between school work and after school activities, it's almost impossible for any school kid to get the recommended amount. So what's the answer? Start school later?!   In August of last year, The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended later school start times, and now, several districts across the country are finding success doing just that.

According to a recent article in the Huffington Post, in Massachusetts, Deerfield Academy moved start times to 8:30 a.m. from 7:55 a.m. And the results? Students "earned higher grades; ate more breakfasts, visited the health center far less frequently; and performed better in athletics. Teachers reported that first-period discussion classes were uncharacteristically vibrant from the beginning bell."

So as schools start to recognize how young people's bodies' work best…what does any of this mean for supermarkets? If more schools begin starting later, there's opportunity for supermarkets to promote more breakfast items in frozen, refrigerated, and prepared foods.  For many of these kids, skipping breakfast comes as a result of a rushed morning, and consequentially a poorer performance at school. If they are afforded more time in the morning to  get ready and eat, retailers are given a whole new opportunity to push breakfast options and their benefits.