Teens who sleep 10mins longer each day get more rest: study

Teens who sleep 10mins longer each day get more rest: study
Girl sleeping. Photo/Courtesy

Letting teens start school just 10 minutes later each day might help them get more than 20 minutes extra sleep on a typical night, a Canadian study suggests.

While that might not sound like much, for some sleep-deprived adolescents this might be enough of a difference to help them get the minimum recommended eight hours of shuteye a night, researchers note in Sleep Medicine.

“Our body’s circadian clock naturally shifts later at puberty, so teens get tired later at night (due to later melatonin release) and therefore, need to sleep in longer in the morning in order to get sufficient rest,” lead study author Karen Patte of Brock University in Ontario said in an email.

“Delayed (school) start times have been recommended for adolescents to align with their delayed sleep schedules,” Brock said said. “This study demonstrates how sensitive student sleep is to school schedules.”

Insufficient sleep increases adolescents’ risk of accidents and injuries, obesity, poor eating habits, substance use, emotional problems and deficits in attention, focus and school achievement, Brock noted.

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