Tenagers are always cranky and sullen. We know this about them. But why might that be? Well, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says only 7.6 percent of teens are getting the recomended amount of sleep: 9 to 10 hours. So parents, one possible explination your kid is disengaged and surly could be that they're not getting enough sleep.
Or, they could just hate you.
It turns out that teens need more sleep than the average adult. Upon entering puberty, a teen's brain begins to delay the release of melatonin, a hormone that induces sleep, by about an hour and a half, says Mary Carskadon, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University. This means that, to get to an optimal resting place, teens need an hour and half more sleep than adults do.
And let's be honest, getting that much sleep is difficult. Between school, homework, and sports, where is all this time for sleep supposed to come from? I mean, the time commitment required for Mass Effect alone is basically 90 percent of today's teens' schedule.
Seriously, the length of these games is f*cking untenable.
Besides that, "sleep pressure", which is basically the scientific term for sleepiness, slows down during adolesence, so teens don't get tired as early. And if all of those factors weren't enough, teens also lose a little of their morning light sensetivity during puberty, making it harder to be awake and alert.
With all these factors in play, you'd almost think God has it out for teenagers. If teenagers were awake and alert, they'd be the perfect humans — able to take in and process large amounts of information while ALSO being physically capable of protecting themselves? Why, teens would basically rule the world if they had a clear, well-rested mind.
And what could go wrong with a teen in charge?
One possible way to help teens get enough sleep is to change the time school starts. Wake County, North Carolina has shown an increase of three percentile points in math and reading scores after their start time was delayed an hour.
And besides that, starting school later just makes sense. Waking up while it's still dark out is a relic of when we were a farm based society. Hey, school boards? We've moved ON from farms, okay? We have iPHONES now. I looked to see if there were any FARMING apps on my iPhone and there AREN'T. There are only ADORABLE VIDEO GAMES about farming.
This is because a real farming app would be STUPID and ARCHAIC.
Do you think that you get enough sleep? Let me know on twitter @mikeyfromsu or in the comments below!