Why teenagers really do need an extra hour in bed

By Panagiotis Dimitropoulos, Tassos Karakoulakis, Vasilis

Daoularis & Panagiotis Antonopoulos (A class)


Every parent knows that getting teenagers out of bed is no easy task, especially when they have to go to school, triggering depression and irritation, with themselves prone to shouts of  » I hate you » and everything is «so unfair!»

First of all, students get significantly less sleep when they are in school term – roughly one hour and 17 minutes less a night than when on holiday. They also have to wake up considerably earlier – about two hours and 30 minutes sooner. In contrast, the students – particularly boys – tended to adopt a later sleep/wake routine during the holidays. Recently, a research showed that students believe they need about eight hours and 45 minutes of sleep, although during the holidays they tend to get about nine hours and 12 minutes. During school term, they typically get less than eight hours of sleep. As a result adolescents are increasingly using stimulants to compensate for sleep loss, and caffeinated and/or sugary drinks are the usual choice. The half-life of caffeine is 5 to 9 hours. So a caffeinated drink late in the day delays sleep at night. Tiredness also increases the likelihood of taking up smoking. Collectively, a day of caffeine and nicotine consumption, the biological tendency for delayed sleep and the increased alertness promoted by computer or cellphone use generates what scientists call a “perfect storm” for delayed sleep in teenagers.


All in all, skipping sleep can be harmful. You can look bad, you may feel moody and you perform poorly. So, sleepiness surely has a big impact in teenagers” lives and should be avoided.


Source: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21829130-100-why-teenagers-really-do-need-an-extra-hour-in-bed/