Browsing for interesting articles online, my visual senses were overwhelmed with headlines reading ‘Teenagers Need Long Lie Ins’ and ‘Teenagers Improve Grades With Lie Ins’. Whilst teens might agree, parents no doubt find the concept of pandering to their children’s whining complaints of exhaustion ridiculous.
Parents should prepare to be shocked though as a test carried out at Northwestern University in Illinois shows that teenagers do actually need more sleep than children and adults. If that doesn’t convince parents to let teens spend all morning in bed, experiments performed by the Chairman of Circadian Neuroscience at Brasenose College, Oxford have revealed that teenagers brains perform better in the afternoons.
In a controversial move, Dr. Paul Kelley, headmaster at a school in the U.K has announced that he will delay the start of the school day until 11am because teenagers need more sleep and denying it could impact their mental and physical health and in turn education. ‘Teenagers are not lazy. We are depriving them of the sleep they need through purely biological factors beyond their control’ said Kelley.
When I was sixteen, I was in a constant battle with my mother over my need to sleep. If only I had known then that the body clock shifts by up to two hours in the teenage years I am sure I would have been victorious. As it was, my arguments were never compelling enough and I was pushed to do ‘something useful’ with my spare time. My first thought on reading these headlines was that I was right all along, but I now realize that I would have missed out on so much had my mom not been so persistent.
I would rather be deprived of sleep rather than of memories of my teenage years – maybe parents do know best. However, at least these articles give teens ammunition for a compromise.