Since 2009, various researchers have been delving into the stereotype of the moody, cranky, constantly-tired teen. What was once put down to a bad attitude, bad habits or just good-old teenage rebellion has been proven to have a scientific cause. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teens officially need more sleep than adults and should be aiming for eight to ten hours of sleep nightly. More importantly, they are biologically predisposed to fall asleep later and wake up later than their adult counterparts because their circadian rhythms have been proven run about two hours behind the typical adult cycle.
To cope with this, one secondary school in Hove is suggesting starting its school day an hour later. Following a consultation with parents, students, and staff, classes at Blatchington Mill could start at 9:25 am and finish at 4 pm instead of starting at 8:30 am and finishing at 3 pm.
Speaking to the BBC Professor Russell Foster, chairman of circadian neuroscience at Brasenose College, Oxford, said: “There’s a biological predisposition for going to bed late and getting up late. Clearly, you can impose upon that even worse habits, but they are not lazy.”
The school will bring in the changes, which head teacher Ashley Harold believes will improve punctuality, focus, and pupil performance in the afternoon, could be bought in this September at the earliest.
The consultation is running for the next two months, and a decision will be reached over the Easter break.
Should schools take science into account and let teenage night owls lie in? Let us know in the comments.