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Sleep and Teens

I ran across an article in the LA Times recently that gave some interesting
information about the requirement for sleep for teenagers being different
than that for adults.

In effect, it said that because of the recent research accumulated on
sleep requirements and children over 11 years of age, there is a national
movement afoot to convince school districts to not start school before
8:15 or 8:30.

In a nutshell, teens have a later melatonin (the sleepy hormone) release
than those over 25.  They virtually find it impossible to fall asleep
before 11pm.  But they still require over 9 hours of sleep, so being in a
classroom for a 7a.m. class is very hard on their brains.  Ideally school
should start at 9a.m. if they need to sleep until 8a.m.  

Also, the super sleep time for most adults falls between 3a.m. and 5a.m.
but for teens it's between 5a.m. and 7a.m.  Hence the multiple
"snooze-alarm" hits...

Suggestions included having young people stop all electronic involvement
by 10p.m. (computers, cellphones, TV, etc) and start setting up for sleep
- hot bath, reading a book in not-too-bright light, light carbohydrate
snack (piece of whole grain toast with a bit of peanut or almond butter
and/or organic fruit spread).  This way, by 10:45, the teen could be tucked
in bed and let the melatonin roll....

Night school anyone?