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In a nationwide round of surveys in the early 1990s, she asked sixth graders when they felt best during the day and what their sleep preferences were. She also asked them to rate their maturity. She found an interesting trend. NeuroscienceNews.com image is for illustrative purposes only.
Summary: Later school start times would allow teens to fully relieve sleep pressure.
Source: Brown University.
The idea of sleep is supposed to evoke feelings of peace, relaxation and refreshment, but when expert Mary Carskadon talks about teen sleep in school districts with early start times, she uses far less comfortable words.
“Social policy clashes with what we see from the biology,” said Carskadon, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. “For teens, when they have not gotten enough sleep and they have to get up too early, they are crushed in the morning.”
Over decades of study, Carskadon has shown that two systems that regulate sleep, circadian rhythms and sleep pressure, both change as children grow up. While they still need the same amount of sleep throughout childhood — ideally 9 to 10 hours — older kids naturally become inclined to go to sleep later (as their circadian rhythms skew later). That means they become biologically predisposed to sleep later, too, to fully relieve that sleep pressure – or biological need to sleep. Yet society frequently requires that they wake early./.../