Researchers find ways to help teens get more sleep: Time management and bright light therapy prove effective for adolescents
Adjusting to a new sleep schedule at the start of the school year can lead to disturbed rest, daytime fatigue and changes in mood and focus for teens.
Although they need eight to 10 hours of sleep per night to maintain physical health, emotional well-being and school performance, according to the National Sleep Foundation and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, most adolescents get less than eight, especially on school nights.
Newly published research from RUSH in the journal SLEEP sheds light on how adolescents can get more shut-eye.
“There are a lot of changes a teen goes through,” said Stephanie J. Crowley, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and the director of the Pediatric Chronobiology and Sleep Research Program at RUSH. “One specifically is a change to sleep biology that happens during puberty.”
“The brain systems that control sleep change in such a way that it’s easier for an adolescent to stay awake later into the evening. One of these systems — the 24-hour circadian clock — shifts later in time,” Crowley said.
So there are two competing forces: one to go to bed earlier for the school schedule and the other a biological change that happens naturally to a teen’s body.
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