Teenagers need more sleep

Posted on September 29, 2014

Due to changes during puberty, teenagers require more sleep than adults and most find it hard to get to sleep before 11pm, with many staying up until 2 or 3am. Failing to get enough sleep causes low mood in teenagers, along with worse health and poor learning, a new review of the psychological evidence finds.

It’s not all down to late night video gaming or TV: the part of the brain which regulates the sleep-wake cycle — the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus — changes in puberty. Teenage brains also secrete less melatonin so their ‘sleep drive’ reduces.

As a result, being forced to rise the next day at 6am for school or college means teens find it hard to get the 8 to 10 hours sleep that they need.

Teenagers who are short of sleep consistently get worse grades in school, are more likely to be depressed and have more health problems, the research shows.

Studies of later start times have consistently reported benefits to adolescent sleep health and learning, there is no evidence showing early starts have a positive impact on such things.

A recent study, published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, delayed the waking up time of adolescents at a boarding school by just 25 minutes. They found that afterwards the number of students getting more than 8 hours sleep a night jumped from 18% to 44%. Students experienced less daytime sleepiness, were less depressed, and found themselves using less caffeine.

Click on the link below to read the full article.

Category(s):Teenage Issues

Source material from PSY Blog