The Science of Adolescent Sleep

Sleep deprivation is linked to behavioral and mental health problems and car accident risk, experts say, and starting school later could help.

Comments: 85

  1. Inadequate sleep has also been linked with a variety of physical health problems including diabetes and heart disease.
    Unfortunately even changing school times probably will have little effect on the problem as many view time sleeping as simply wasted time away from one's electronic devices.

  2. Do you have a study you could link us to that would back up your assertion? I'm having a hard time understanding the premise that later school start times for teenager would somehow give them more time for their electronic devices. Are you telling us that some of them might get up early anyway to increase that time? Your assertion makes absolutely no sense to me.

  3. This problem predates electronic devices. False argument.

  4. Maybe American adolescents have very different genes from the rest of the human population. I grew up in India. School started at 7.30 am and nobody had any problems with sleepiness. Was this noticed in earlier generations of Americans, or just in the recent generations?

  5. Did you read the article? They said it was even seen in animals.

  6. If you stay up to all hours waiting to hear from your friends, you will be tired in the morning, whatever your age.

  7. I had a similar thought. While I understand the sleep drive issue mentioned in the article, I do not agree that the solution is to accommodate it. Parents may have to sleep train twice - as toddlers and teens!

    My high school sophomore was having trouble getting up and going in the mornings. The consequence for her missing the bus was really a punishment for me: I would have to drive her to school and round trip is more than an hour in traffic.

    We did the usual stuff - eliminated screens, got an extra alarm clock, etc.

    After many rotten mornings, I went back to the parenting books and chose to consider it as a combined problem of motivation AND sleep needs. She and I agreed that when she ran late in the morning (by the kitchen clock), she had to go to bed 15 minutes earlier that night - horizontal with no electronics and the lights out. The new bedtime sticks until she is on time 5 days in a row. Running late again sets her back 15 more minutes that night. (We used carrots too but only the sticks worked.)

    We did have one stretch of her going to bed at 8:30. She fussed just as she had as a 2 yo, but was ready to get up and go the next morning - before the alarm went off!

    Oh, and we responded to the "I can't go to bed because of my homework" argument by letting her get up when she chose (as early as 5 am) in the morning to finish the work.

    I often will get up with her (she must wake me - not the other way round) and make tea, breakfast.

    Not easy, but it's working.

  8. I am so glad to see this issue being addressed. I remember crying in despair as a teenager, unable to get to sleep until after 11, but having to get up by 5:30 to leave by 6:45 to catch the school bus. People forget that those early school starting times come after bus rides--and for a rural kids or those in districts integrating through busing, that can be a very long ride.

  9. Crying in DESPAIR? are you kidding me?

    Anyone can learn to get to sleep at any time. It does take a few weeks to "reset the clock".

    What if you job started early? Or you had a long commute? Would you whinge about that TOO?

    Learning to get up early was a good experience for you -- it taught you to adapt. We need to stop kowtowing to spoiled, whinging kids.

  10. I also cried in despair over being unable to fall asleep early enough. I exercised, ate well, didn't have access to screens at night (this was the late 90s), and went to bed on time only to lie awake in the dark for hours. Around 12 to 14 I developed severe high-functioning depression, caused mostly (I believe) by chronic sleep deprivation. It took me over a decade of therapy and prescription medication to lose my learned anxiety over falling asleep.

    I still have a very late chronotype, but I now have a job that allows me to sleep 2am to 11pm, and I have never in my life been so productive or happy.

    People can force themselves to wake up early, as I did for all of high school, but I assure you that not everyone can just choose to fall asleep any time they need to.

  11. I'm afraid that's not true that anybody can just re-set their clock. Maybe that's true for you, but I've always been a "lark", up with the sun, and no amount of criticism would ever turn me into a successful night owl.

    We need to be kinder to everybody's sleep!

  12. My child's school district (Upper Merion, PA) has start times of 7:30 for high school, 8:00 for middle school, and 8:50 for elementary school. I asked whether they were familiar with the research demonstrating the value of later start times for high school students. They were. I asked why they didn't reverse the start times, so that high schoolers would start later and elementary schoolers would start earlier. They said that many families in the school district rely on older children to provide after-school childcare for their younger children, and therefore the older children must be home before the younger children get out to school. So now I know that the reason my high schooler spends the first two periods of his school day with his head on his desk is because there is no viable after-school childcare in the district for families with younger children.

  13. When thus issue first started to be reported, we used to hear the high schoolers needed to get out early for childcare or to get to their afterschool jobs or sports practice. If this country ever starts to view education as the first priority for teenagers, we might start to support them in that endeavor and see some progress in educational achievement.

  14. American schools should adapt to the needs of their consumers, why should we learn from knowledge?

  15. American schools are run for the benefit of the Administrators, Bus Drivers and the Teachers not the students.

  16. Actually, their schedules are set up to accommodate the sports schedules. The teachers I know would love a later start.

  17. As an adult what I've noticed most over the last 40 years is the increase in noise, especially at night when we need to relax and get to sleep. People have their music blaring to the point where the walls and floors vibrate if you're in the same house or sometimes next door to them. There is the expectation that someone will respond instantly to a text even if it's 2am. In short, we've become a country without an off switch. We have bright lights shining into our windows at night, lots of noise at night, plenty of noise during the day that we can't shut out, and we wonder why people are so irritable so much of the time. I don't. We need some quiet in our lives, all of us. And we need time and quiet to sleep. Adolescents and adults.

  18. My middle schooler has to arrive at school at 7:15 am. I drive, but the kids who take the bus are waiting as early as 6:30 in the morning, depending on where they are in the route.

    The daily struggle to get my son out of bed in the morning is absolutely brutal. We send him to bed early, but often he's awake for an hour before he can fall asleep.

    And just to compound the problem, when middle school kids get into trouble, it's typically in the after school hours when they are home without adults around. That 7:15 start time translates into a 2:15 pm finish. Some of these kids are home alone for 4 hours before adults get home from work.

    It's a recipe for disaster on so many fronts...

  19. @Anon: I have to get up, every morning, at 4:20AM.

    I was once a teen -- long while ago -- and I loved staying up late and going to bed late, but real life came and I learned you can't do that.

    Your son simply needs to learn good sleep hygiene -- no distractions, no TV, no smartphones, no video games -- a few weeks, and he will fall asleep on time. If he has to get up at 6AM, then he needs to be in bed at 10PM and that is not ridiculous nor an onerous burden.

    He should learn this NOW -- so when he goes to college, the military, a job -- he will know how to go to sleep and get up on time in the REAL WORLD.

  20. Once again, missing the point of the research. This phase only lasts a few years. By the time most young adults have to start commuting to a job, caring for babies, or training for the military, their bodies are maturing beyond this sleep cycle disruption. Just because it was not a problem for you (in your memory, anyway) does not mean most students would not be able to perform better with a schedule that worked with them, not against them.

  21. Concerned citizen--and clearly you want everyone to be just as miserable.

    Most people in the workplace do not get up at 4. I don't, and I've worked in different fields and never have. Many workplaces start at 8:30, an hour LATER than most high schools. Some have flex time and people can start at 9 or even later. The reason I get up early is because I have high schoolers. The ONLY reason. In three years I will sleep till 8 every day. Go ahead, tell me how awful I am while I grin my way to work.

    Just because something has always been done a certain way doesn't mean it should be that way. Our society needs to respect biology. Circadian rhythms are real. Work done at certain hours of the day is likely to be more error prone. Accidents occur more at certain hours.

  22. Another reason to start high school later: School days are shorter than work days so high school students will be home alone for several hours each day while their parents are at work. If those hours are in the morning,the students will be safely asleep. If they are home without parents in the afternoon they are more likely to drink, use drugs, or have sex.

  23. If teens sleep in, and parents go to work at normal times....the teen is still alone. They will figure out they can use those early unsupervised hours for sex, drugs or drink.

    The real fact is school should run roughly 8AM to 5PM, just like work hours usually do. Our children are far, far behind those in other nations -- ranked 37th in the world! -- and they need every hour in the day, plus all summer, to catch up. This is especially true for poor and disadvantaged kids.

    What stands in the way? Lazy, burned out, public union teachers who want their summers off with pay. Failing children? Well, they don't pay union dues so who cares?

  24. Concerned Citizen had to hit the ol' unionized teachers note even on an article about adolescent sleep patterns. Give it a rest. And if you think it's such a walk in the park to teach, no one's stopping you from "putting one over" on society and taking that job.

    As for how terribly our students are doing, that is a matter of poverty. Our middle-class and upper class kids do fine compared to other nations. (despite being taught by the horrible unionized teachers!) Please don't advocate killing childhood by making school run from 8-5 and all summer long. That is completely unnecessary for most. Optional programs for those who want them should be available.

  25. My teen is at school on time even if my husband and I leave early. I would hear from the school if he were late. And most smart kids are bored enough already by school. A longer day would just mean more paperwork. By the way, lots of jobs these days have staggered or flex hours, at least around here.

  26. Our system here is deprived of sleep wake up cycle. Here is no such different timings.

  27. This is a particularly stupid meme going around. It was started by public union teachers, who want to go into work later and nothing else.

    Teenagers want to sleep...UNTIL NOON! they will be as sleepy at 9AM as they were at 7:30AM.

    Teenagers have no "unique sleep cycle". They are young, and fiesty and full of life....that's all. And today, they are on social media and phones and yakking to their friends until very late. Or watching 300 channels of cable TV. That's why they are sleepy: very simply, they stay up too late.

    But teens turn into adults very fast, and the adult world has no truck with just "letting you sleep in" because of your "pwecious metabolism". Work starts early and you have to commute, and someday, you'll have a baby that wakes you up at 4AM.

    The sooner you adapt to the real world, the better off you will be by far.

  28. Concerned Citizen's comment is just ignorant. Teachers in our area are among those resisting later start times. They have outgrown the biorhythm sleep issue facing teenagers so they can get up early, and they want to get home earlier to their own families or activities, especially if they already stay after hours to work with students.

    With all the money we spend on school campuses, buildings should be open early and late, with some classes held later for students who can perform better then, evening access to the library, and later use of art, music, athletic and recreational facilities. School days from 7 am to 2 pm are a waste of facilities and teacher resources.

  29. Okay, we get it. You've got an axe to grind when it comes to "public union teachers". Now how about just let the adults comment without your constant interruptions?

  30. How can you be so flippant about this? This is science and if you paid attention to your own teenagers (if you had ever had any) you would have empirical evidence to back up the findings. "Pwecious"? I suspect you believe climate change is a hoax too.

  31. The scientific evidence has been around for a long time, but school systems are unable and unwilling to figure out a way to accommodate this need for sleep in their bus schedules and start times. Some teachers oppose a change because they'd rather leave school early, no matter how sleepiness affects their classrooms. Then there are the snarky folks who don't read (or believe) the findings and just say take away their devices and make them go to bed earlier. This was a problem when my kids were in high school before the days of social media and mobile devices; they did not have televisions, phones, or desktop computers in their bedrooms. My daughter had to walk to the bus stop in the dark along a poorly lit road to catch a 6:40 am bus. My son couldn't eat breakfast and would be nauseated in biology dissection lab starting at 7:20 am. Both are now successful and have advanced degrees, but their learning in high school was definitely affected by having to get up before their bodies were ready. And we wonder why our kids lag behind other countries like Finland.

  32. My oldest son had a 7:10 start time and a 6:35 bus pick up. Even though we enforced strict bed times, had rules about electronics at night, and limited his caffeine - he never got enough sleep because his sleep patterns shifted when he was a teen. That's pretty common in adolescents. As a result, my son was constantly sleep deprived and it affected his health. Especially his mood. You'd thing getting those early start times changed would be easy and that district administrators would make wise evidence based decisions. That's usually not the case and the kids suffer.

  33. Years before electronic devices were around to keep us awake, my kindergarten-through-high school was severely damaged towards the end of the school year, resulting in the lower and middle school students attending in the morning and us upper school students going in the afternoon. The result? Better sleep and more attention paid to homework, which we did in the morning before going to school. I know from personal experience and, more importantly, from science that we should align the school day to get the most out of it. Why do we never learn? Not enough sleep, perhaps?

  34. I am furious that our high schools start at 7 a.m. A local commission made up of psychologists and other health professionals and child advocates approached our school board several years back and successfully lobbied to start school later. This change lasted only one year. Why? Parents complained that kids didn't have enough time for sports or after school jobs. That's completely ridiculous; 25 years ago I started school at 8 and had plenty of time for a job, homework, and a social life.

  35. This information has been known for many years, and while school administrators routinely seek validated research to support often-controversial changes in curriculum and school policies, they consistently ignore research that runs contrary to their archaic class/school schedules. Transportation timetables and athletic events dictate the unhealthy daily regimen of far too many students. Having spent 20-plus years in a public school system, I raised this very issue, to no avail, on a yearly basis. Far too many administrative decisions that are made have profound adverse effects on the students.

  36. It's remarkable to me that people can care so much about intricate details of diet, physical activity, and other behaviors and yet feel that sleep is sort of a disposable human function, that can be skipped and ignored.

  37. That's because sleep is fun. Don't you know everything good for you has to be hard and unpleasant?

  38. Well, it's also amazing how many people don't realize how new Dean Ornish's work is (relatively speaking) and that the concept that a healthy diet and regular exercise were only popularized and supported by his research in the late 70s. We have a lot to learn and to accept about the science of health and wellness.

  39. But what to do? Schools are run for the convenience of the adults, not for the benefit of the students.

    Home schooling? Not so good for high school without access to labs.

    Political action? But how many will stand up for the kids?

    How about changing the clocks? A reverse of daylight savings time.

    How about flexible scheduling for students? Even evening classes would be good for some.

  40. I live near the school district in the article. I don't for a minute believe it is parents counting on older siblings at home that is a cause of early school start times. The parents around here are wealthy enough to make other arrangements, many don't work.

    It us the American obsession with sports, and its absurd connection to schooling (unlike in Europe, say) that drives this. If school ends at 4:00, when are you going to have the endless away matches and games? How are you going to fit in all the extracurriculars?

    We are hurting our kids with this endless focus on more, more, more. Time for less, less, less.

  41. In many communities, particularly in rural areas, school schedules are dictated by bus schedules. Districts cannot afford to run multiple bus routes at the same time, so school start times have to be staggered. They don't want elementary school aged kids standing out at bus stops before dawn every day, so the oldest kids have to be delivered to school before the little ones are picked up. For my family in rural NH, that means their 7th & 9th graders are picked up at 6:30am for a school start time of 7:15 and their 5th grader is picked up at 7:45 for an 8:30 start. It's the same bus and driver picking up the children, but the elementary school and the middle/high school are on opposite ends of town (and does anyone really want 6 year olds and 16 year olds on the same school bus?)

  42. You'd really be surprised how older kids step up when there are little ones around to care for (and who are watching). Age segregation is a mistake.

  43. Probably because it is relatively easy to measure, sleep researchers tend to over-emphasize brain activity and ignore what goes on in the rest of our bodies during sleep.

    Animals' cells divide during sleep. In humans longer sleep hours occur during periods of rapid growth which involved increased cell production. The long sleep hours of adolescence are a reflection of what happens during early infancy.

    Further discussion and some citations are on pages 102-104 and 143 in my book:
    https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=LQ_YmCOcS3EC&hl=nl&print...

  44. This has been known for decades- indeed when I was in high school twenty years ago there was discussion of how teenage biorhythms favor a later to sleep/late to rise schedule. For my first three years of high school I had math first period and got average grades. Senior year I had AP calculus the last period- A's every quarter. But I just thought I was bad at math. Sleep deprivation affects academic performance which can have significant effects on applying for college, etc. 20 years ago the excuse was bus schedules- I think it's safe to say that while teachers, administrators and students all saw the lunacy of this it isn't going to change any time soon.

  45. I remember dropping out of band in high school because I couldn't deal with the sleep deprivation from basketball games.

  46. The quality of what the students are asked to do, should be looked at, before making conclusions about recommended hours of sleep.

  47. This article cites vague scientific evidence to support its claims, but the vagueness leaves one very unsure of what this evidence might be. When you say that teens fall asleep later than kids, what determines this difference in timing? Possibly the time of sunset? That might be reasonable, but then there would be a huge variation in sleep patterns between winter and summer, which is not mentioned anywhere. Or is it the time of the last meal of the day? If so, it could be moved to an earlier time to speed up falling asleep in the evening. Please provide more information to convince us that someone actually understands what is going on. Otherwise, it sounds like the problem might be simply late-night exposure to artificial light.

  48. "Their sleep drive takes longer to build up than it did in childhood, he said. 'They don’t reach that critical level of sleepiness till a later time at night.'" That IS quite the ambiguous statement. It does seem like exposure specifically to blue light* late at night is probably a large part of the problem.

    * Blue light tricks our brains into thinking we are seeing the sky during the day, and preventing the buildup of the chemicals that cause sleep in the brain.

  49. How come the current adolescent parents and grandparents didn't suffer from similar sleep deprivation?

    Take away the electronic rectangles.

  50. School schedules used to be more reasonable. Realistically, were you in class in high school at 7:15 or earlier? I wasn't. Mine started at 8:15.

  51. School starts earlier in many cases. My freshman son's high school now starts at 7:45 am -- and that start time was pushed back from a 7:25 am start time two years ago.

    Many students take far more challenging classes and have more homework -- not to mention more extracurricular activities -- than they did in my era or my parents' era.

    And finally -- who's to say kids back then didn't suffer sleep deprivation? We know a lot more now than we did then about all kinds of risks -- smoking, drunk driving, failure to wear seatbelts, and yes, sleep deprivation.

  52. I graduated from high school in 1971. My high school was on "split shifts" because there weren't enough classrooms. I started at 7 and ended at 12. I remember sleeping in class. I thought split shifts were awful. The clubs all met at 4 after the second shift so if you were on the first shift you had to wait for 4 hours for them or else you couldn't participate.

  53. OK, but how about the adolescent who remains an early riser? I am not advocating necessarily for early school start, but am very aware that not all teens stay up later and are hard to rouse in the morning. I have, my whole life, been an early to bed, early to rise person. I have also always functioned best early in the day. So, is the biology of people like me just different or are there other factors?

  54. To each his own.

  55. About 10 years ago, our school board learned about this research and switched the start times of the middle and high schools with the start time of the elementary school. The elementary school starts at 8:15 and ends at 2:45 and the middle and high schools start at 9:15 and ends at 3:45. Correlation is not causation, of course, but our high school academic performance risen steadily, as judged by state test scores.

  56. Edina and Minneapolis, MN changed their high school start times a decade ago. Academic performance and graduation rates both showed significant improvement over the first three years of the new schedule. I have become convinced that this has nothing to do with in-home discipline nor parental insistence that kids turn off the lights and go to sleep earlier. It's about the physiology of puberty, I've come to believe, and we are foolish to ignore it and watch kids fail who could otherwise succeed.

  57. Turbot, that's nonsense. I was raised by my grandmother who did not allow the use of electronics. I cannot emphasize how strongly I was mentally affected by this change in sleep pattern. I couldn't fall asleep until after 10, and had to wake up at 5:30 on school days. I was so sleepy that I would sleep on the sidewalk while I waited for the bus, on the bus, and again before class ever began (at 7:30). First period was an absolute nightmare. I scraped Cs in almost all of my first class periods because I would be zonked out on the desk, no matter how hard I tried to stay awake. I eventually had to start spending my $5/week allowance on caffeinated drinks just so I could stay awake through a test.
    This sleep deprivation exacerbated my depression as a teen, as well. High school is a messy, confusing time as it is. There's no need to stipulate that our kids should be waking up earlier than their parents to "build character" or whatever lesson in responsibility these kids are supposed to be learning through such an exercise.

  58. When do the sleep cycles shift back?

    I remember knocking over other children in kindergarten to get to my towel for naptime. I've always been a sleeper plus naps whenever possible. Then I turned 50. I can't stay asleep. I wake up every night between 2:30 3:30 pm. Oh, misery!

  59. When I was a young high school teacher and debating coach I used to call 7.30 am team meetings for my YA debaters. (I would supply breakfast.) I soon gave up on that idea as they showed up but left their brains at home still in bed. I could get no sense out of them.

  60. Given today's educational climate I propose that a few schools make the change, then look for evidence of higher test scores. If you can document a positive effect, you'll have all the districts clambering for 9 a.m. start times.

  61. I can't believe this is still being debated after 10 years of scientific research. I've been following this issue for quite a while. Teenagers cannot win in this country. The assumption is they're just lazy and playing video games all night. This is a biological reality.

  62. Except that my son, who is a millennial, was definitely not the only one of his peer group to be early to be early to rise. And conversely, in my own generation I know more than a few people who were night owls. So it is partially biology and partially society. Also. blue light (such as from screens) simulates daylight and keeps people awake, preventing them from building up sleep drive as the blue light tells their brains that they are seeing the sky and must stay awake.

  63. A little strange that adolescents in other countries don't appear to be similarly plagued, nor were those of farm families a century ago. Some element is missing in this research--or has biology changed in that time?

  64. You ask a good "questions". However, how do you know that this isn't similar in other countries and didn't affect children a century ago? I was a principal in an International School In Addis Ababa with over 90 nationalities. There was little difference in their response to early start times in the group.

  65. Those adolescents didn't spend hours a day and late into the evening watching TV and getting 'rewards' on their electronic devices.

  66. Starting later has no effect. Students must stop the late night texting, video games, etc. and take responsibility for their success in school. We have seen no change in our school after rolling back the start time. This is another excuse for not being responsible.

  67. So, schools are supposed to accommodate the students lifestyles by starting later? Are we forgetting one of the basics here? The purpose of an education is to prepare our children and young adults for their careers in life. I know of no business that accommodates a person's personal life style. Better the kids learn this basic concept now, in school, so they do not make that mistake at a more critical time later. Be on time and be prepared to accomplish the tasks for the day. Otherwise, you get no reward and no paycheck.

  68. @don46 It's not about accommodating a lifestyle, It's about accommodating teenagers sleep needs.

  69. Maybe the parents need to yank away those smartphones at :00 PM and demand lights out at 10:00 PM. This is a myth, regardless of the amount of research done.

    The teens just don't get it. Anyone who desires sufficient sleep and a pleasant, productive workday must retire in the evening at a time that allows 8-9 hours of sleep. 7:00 AM school bus pick-up? 9:30 PM bedtime. Simple.

    Everyone has his/her own biological clock, but we don't always find occupations (or schools) that conform to our individual needs. Adjustment to the "outside world" is mandatory for anyone expecting to mature to self-sufficiency as adults. I, personally, have always been an "owl," but for many years worked in a career that required 5 or 6 AM awakening. Solution? 9 PM bedtime! Is that not possible for teens?

    Everyone must adjust to life in ways that preserve health, welfare, and productivity, regardless of circadian rhythms. Get sufficient sleep, kiddos! And parents, shut down the electronic devices at 9:00 PM every evening!

  70. And that's exactly what my son did. While not all children can be so self-regulating, even through high school he was still generally asleep by 10, and was an early riser who woke by 6 or 7 am on his own. One interesting thing is that it was only when he went off to college, and had the social pressures to stay up late and sleep in that he started to do so. It may be partially biological to have shifted sleep schedules, but it is also social, and teaching your kids good habits (both in sleep schedules and in doing what feels comfortable rather than following social pressures) is a valuable, healthy, life skill.

  71. Um... I am a teen and I can disagree with you. I never got a phone until I was 15 years old, I wasn't allowed any tv on school nights and the only reason I ever used a laptop was for homework. I did sports, homework, studying, chores, and took care of my personal hygiene all after school. No matter how hard i try to do these things everyday as fast as I possible can, I alwyas got done with everything between 9pm and 10pm. And so I go to bed without rewarding myself for that A on that test I got back that day or that it was maybe my birthday. I then get out of bed between 5:30am and 6am. I drag myself out of bed and throw on the first clothes I see. I eat breakfast, clean my dishes, take care of my personal hygiene, and pack everything up for the long day of school. I then wait at my bus stop where my bus driver normally is ten to twenty minutes late, so during the winter months I stand there with a red nose praying and wishing I was back in my cozy bed. When I get to school I go to my first block and I'm struggling to stay awake. This grogginess last till about third block. It's a vicious cycle every single day, where I daydream being outside playing or being home with my family and playing with my little sisters. I never get to be there for my sisters during school because every time they ask for me to play with them, I have to choke back tears and tell them I'm busy and maybe this weekend. I want to be a teenage not an adult. I would go on but I've ran out of characters.

  72. @ultimateliberal So, the 30 years of science are wrong. Your opinion is right. Got it.

  73. 8 am is institutionalized child abuse... And nothing more than an accommodation for teachers who want to get home before rush hour.

  74. Missing from this article -- and all others I've seen on the topic -- is a crucial piece of data: If this is an adolescent sleep pattern for humans, when does it end? At what approximate age do people grow out of this pattern and gain the ability to regulate their sleep more intentionally?

    I see several comments like, "The kids need to learn now" and the science seems to be saying, "Well but they can't."

    Yet, adults generally do. Knowing the general time frame of this phase of life would seem to be helpful in crafting better policies and procedures.

  75. There are some science articles out there that have stated like "the teenager needs to reset their clock, which is possible by practicing different lifestyle habits such as no electronics so many hours before sleep, not eating certain foods so many hours before sleep time and not drinking caffeine so many hours before sleep time."

  76. @Katedaphne Sleep scientists say that this sleep pattern ends about age 25.

  77. My son (who is now a lawyer, she bragged) kept an unusual schedule that worked very well for him: He set his alarm an hour earlier than necessary in the morning so he could study; took a 3-4 hour nap when he returned home from school; and stayed up late to complete his homework. Mind you we had sufficient money without his having to work to support this lifestyle.

  78. Studies show that other mammals also experience disruption of circadian rhythms during adolescence and that excessive light and the lack of lower post sunset temperatures exacerbate this delay. Since there is no feasible way to return to the pre-industrial world and we understand that there is strong biological evidence for changes in sleep patterns in teens, lets stop suggesting that teens just need to suck it up because adults often need to get up early.

    For example, read
    Adolescent Changes in the Homeostatic and Circadian Regulation of Sleep
    M.H. Hagenauer,a,b,* J.I. Perryman,a T.M. Lee,a,b,c and M.A. Carskadond

  79. I wonder if using light therapy to help nudge the adolescent brain and circadian rhythm would help? Maybe a system like Circadia that combines a tracker to model the circadian rhythm and an actively controlled light therapy program to provide stimulation (without the half life of caffeine) could help?

  80. Yeah, let's start school later in the day, and in 10 years teenagers will be staying up till two and three in the morning, and still falling asleep at their desks. Give me a break!

  81. As a mother, I have made it mandatory for my kids to go to bed with a book by 9 PM. The best sleep is before midnight. That is not only true for teenagers but for adults as well! I don't think the schools should start later, I think parents should start putting their kids to bed without devices and wifi.

  82. I 100% agree and have been fighting this in our community. It is a matter of time management.

  83. @SW Yeah, no. Teenagers circadian rhythms are set much later than adults and children. They have no control over it and even if they go to bed, get off technology, turn the lights off, close your eyes and try to sleep, they will struggle to sleep. It may work for your "kids" but kids aren't teens. This whole discussion revolves around the fact that kids and adults are different to teens. Sincerely, A teen that understands this more than an adult with little children

  84. I'm a teen #relatable!

  85. I knew that all humans were humans. but are humans really humans? or are they just humans?