Happiness for teenagers is…sleep

Happiness for teenagers is…sleep


PUSHING back high school start times by only 30 minutes can drastically improve students’ moods, energy levels and overall health, researchers have found.

In a social experiment thought to be a world first, an independent high school changed its start time for students in years 9 to 12 and monitored the effects.

When children reach puberty their body clocks change and they need to stay up at night and sleep in later. When they were given the chance to do so for the study, the number of teenagers who said they felt sleepy in classes more than halved, and there was a 45 per cent decrease in teachers reporting students late or absent from the first class.

Before the start times changed, nearly 66 per cent of the students said they felt at least somewhat unhappy or depressed, but that dropped to about 45 per cent.

The students gained even more than half an hour’s extra sleep – an average of about 45 minutes – because after feeling the benefits of more sleep many chose to go to bed earlier, the authors wrote in the journal Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

One teacher at the school, in Rhode Island in the US, said the late start had been “the single most positive impact to my general quality of life at [the school] since I started 12 years ago”.

The study showed that starting school later was as helpful for improving teenagers’ health and happiness…

…to read more (especially if you want a happy teenager) – JUST CLICK HERE