This week was declared the national week of sleep, so many parents begun to analyze the impact of early-starting schools on the health of their children. And according to the American Association of Psychology, adolescents need their sleep more than children or adults do.
Patricia Horoho, a general surgeon in the U.S. Army, speaks about the performance triad. According to the lieutenant general, an average person must balance three elements in order to live healthily. The three fundamental things that are vital for daily performance are activity, nutrition and sleep.
And she is not the only researcher to promote the health benefits of a full eight-hour snooze. Previous studies concluded that sleep deprivation can cause obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, depression, anxiety, irritability and even the munchies.
Moreover, the latest statistics show that more than two-thirds of United States citizens are sleep deprived. And high-school students are among the affected. Adolescents need their sleep because their brains are still developing, and a lack of a proper amount of Zzz can lead to depression, an inability to focus and even suicidal thoughts.
The American Association of Psychology concluded that the sleep schedule of adolescents is greatly influenced by their school program.
Once they hit puberty, their brain starts to release melatonin much later during the night and mornings. Their circadian cycle is modified, and they feel fully awake until 11 PM and still sleepy around 8 AM when they should already be washed, dressed and occupying their seat in class.
This modification in their natural biological clock interferes with the school program making them feel more irritated, anxious, depressed and some even showing signs of suicidal thoughts.
So when teenagers are complaining about all the life and death situation that they are facing in their lives, it’s probably true. The chemical alterations that happen in their brains make them believe that the cafeteria running out of yogurt and the cheerleaders deciding on another hairdo a couple of hours before the game are serious matters that significantly affect their lives.
Parents all across the US are trying to urge high schools to implement a new program in which classes should start no earlier than 8:30. Such a change will not only offer them a full eight-hour rest, but it will eliminate morning grogginess, and the students will be able to concentrate better during first periods.
Adolescents need their sleep not only because they spend their nights browsing social media, but rather because puberty is not allowing them to go to bed before midnight.
Image source: YouTube