What time do you think school should start for teenagers? It’s no secret within the research and education communities that teenagers are struggling to obtain the right amount of sleep, as traditional school schedules aren’t in line with their natural sleep-wake cycle, leading to daytime sleepiness and making poor grades more likely.
According to The Telegraph, an astounding new study is currently underway by Oxford University involving more than 100 schools across England and more than 30,000 teenagers. The 4 year experiment will push school start times back to 10am to find out if attending school later in the morning will lead to improved exam results.
The new experiment will be run long 6 other neuroscience studies that are looking at other factors that may affect learning, including increasing physical activity and adding brain games into the lesson plans.
Professor Colin Epsie, the lead author of the study, says that the time society has set school to start is during the time a teenager’s brain is still asleep. He also believes that teenagers are misunderstood.
“We know that something funny happens when you’re a teenager, in that you seem to be out of sync with the world,” he shared with The Telegraph. “Your parents think it’s because you’re lazy and opinionated and everything would be ok if you could get to sleep earlier. But science is telling us that teenagers need to sleep more in the mornings.”
Plenty of neuroscientists are in agreement that teenagers naturally get to bed around midnight and don’t feel alert and engaged until between 9am and 10am. The circadian rhythm of teenagers, or their sleep-wake cycle, is 2 hours after adults until the age of 19 for females and age 21 for males.
The students taking part in Professor Epsie’s experiment will also receive lessons regarding the importance of sleep throughout the study. We can’t wait to see the published results in 2018.