We now know that a teenagers tendency to stay up late and wake up late is actually to do with puberty shifting their body clock as opposed to simply a bad and lazy attitude. The changes teens experience during puberty mean they struggle to sleep before 11p.m and find it hard to wake in the morning as they still require around 9 hours of sleep per night.
The new study has investigated the effect of an extra half an hour in bed by asking students to complete a questionnaire at the end of a three month study.
Delaying the school start time by half an hour resulted in participating students getting an average of 45 minutes of extra sleep on school nights due to a later wake up time and the surprising side effect of going to sleep 15 minutes earlier.
Additional results found that the amount of pupils falling asleep or having difficulty staying awake fell from 85 per cent to 60. Lateness also experienced a drop of around half and pupils who had previously said they were unhappy or depressed dropped from 65 per cent to 45 per cent.
If you are concerned about your child’s sleeping habits then there are certain things you could do to encourage sleep. Make sure distractions such as mobile phones, video games etc are switched of and that the bedroom is a quiet, dark and cool room.
If you are worried that your child may be suffering with depression then please visit your GP who will be able to make a formal diagnosis before advising you on the best course of treatment.