Following the proven fact that most US adults don’t get enough hours of sleep per night, a new study from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine reveals that lack of sleep can also account for any number of issues among teen students, such as depression, low attention span, poor academic results, and even car accidents.
The study, which was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, proves that if classes started an hour later, there would be a 16.5 percent decrease in car accidents involving young adults. Furthermore, an extra hour of sleep has more than one benefit, the study said.
According to this new paper, as the human body hits puberty, the Sand Man doesn’t come as early as he did when we were kids. This means that, based on the new circadian rhythm, the need to sleep comes later. And with classes started at 8 in the morning or even earlier, depending on the institution, it’s more than clear that most high school and middle school students aren’t getting the sleep they require in order to stay focused in class.
Dr. Nathaniel Watson, the lead author of the study, declared that based on the data he gathered in the field, approximately 83 percent of all US middle schools and high schools begin their classes at approximately 8:03. Subsequently, the students find it harder and harder to wake up.
Watson also said that sleep deprivation is linked to a myriad of conditions which include obesity, diabetes, heart issues, depression, and engaging in risky behavior. Furthermore, as the doctor noted, waking up early in the morning to attend classes has been associated with poor academic performances and low attention span.
So, what is the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s answer? According to Watson, the most obvious solution to this dilemma is for school to start one hour later. The study’s lead scientist declared that this one-hour upshift does not only guarantee a good night’s sleep, but the improvements in the academic area are visible after just a few months.
However, he pointed out that this sort of schedule would be hard to implement since most schools have after-hour activities. Another benefit of delaying classes by one hour would be fewer car accidents caused by sleep-deprived teens. The data gathered by Watson and his team of medical researchers reveals that the incidents of unfortunate traffic event could decrease by almost 20 percent should this change be made.
Image source: Pixabay