Berkeley researchers analyzed longitudinal data from a nationally representative cohort of 2,700 U.S. adolescents of whom 30 percent reported bedtimes later than 11:30 p.m. on school days and 1:30 a.m. in the summer in their middle and high school years.
By the time they graduated from high school, the school-year night owls had lower GPA scores, and were more vulnerable to emotional problems than teens with earlier bedtimes, according to the study published online Nov.10 in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
The results present a compelling argument in favor of later middle and high school start times in the face of intense academic, social and technological pressures, researchers said.
“Academic pressures, busy after-school schedules, and the desire to finally have free time at the end of the day to connect with friends on the phone or online make this problem even more challenging,” said Lauren Asarnow, lead author of the study and a graduate student in UC Berkeley’s Golden Bear Sleep and Mood Research Clinic.
On a positive note, she said the findings underscore how a healthy sleep cycle promotes the academic and emotional success of adolescents.
“The good news is that sleep behavior is highly modifiable with the right support,” said Asarnow, citing UC Berkeley’s Teen Sleep Study, a treatment program designed to reset the biological clocks of adolescents who have trouble going to sleep and waking up.
This latest UC Berkeley study used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which has tracked the influences and behaviors of adolescents since 1994. Focusing on three time periods – the onset of puberty, a year later and young adulthood – UC Berkeley researchers compared how the sleep habits of 2,700 teemagers aged 13-18 impacted their academic, social and emotional development. They looked at participants’ school transcripts and other education and health data.
While going to bed late in the summer did not appear to impact their academic achievement, including grades, researchers did find a correlation between later summer bedtimes and emotional problems in young adulthood.
Surveys show that many teenagers do not get the recommended nine hours sleep a night, and report having trouble staying awake at school. The human circadian rhythm, which regulates physiological and metabolic functions, typically shifts to a later sleep cycle at the onset of puberty. UC Berkeley researchers theorize that an “evening circadian preference” in adolescence is a confluence of biological factors, as well as parental monitoring, academic and social pressures and the use of electronic gadgetry.
For example, bright lights associated with laptops, smartphones and other electronic devices have been found to suppress melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the sleep cycle. UC Berkeley’s Teen Sleep Study uses dim lighting and limits technology before bedtime, among other interventions, to help reverse this night-owl tendency.
‘This very important study adds to the already clear evidence that youth who are night owls are at greater risk for adverse outcomes,” said UC Berkeley psychologist Allison Harvey, senior author of the paper. “Helping teens go to bed earlier may be an important pathway for reducing risk. This will not be an easy process. But here at Berkeley, our sleep coaches draw from the science of motivation, habit formation and sleep to help teens achieve earlier bedtimes.”
Yasmin Anwar | EurekAlert!
New study first to predict which oil and gas wells are leaking methane
21.12.2018 | University of Vermont
Droughts boost emissions as hydropower dries up
21.12.2018 | Stanford's School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences
Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.
In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...
Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.
It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:
The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.
One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...
Just in time for Christmas, a Mars-analogue mission in Morocco, coordinated by the Robotics Innovation Center of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) as part of the SRC project FACILITATORS, has been successfully completed. SRC, the Strategic Research Cluster on Space Robotics Technologies, is a program of the European Union to support research and development in space technologies. From mid-November to mid-December 2018, a team of more than 30 scientists from 11 countries tested technologies for future exploration of Mars and Moon in the desert of the Maghreb state.
Close to the border with Algeria, the Erfoud region in Morocco – known to tourists for its impressive sand dunes – offered ideal conditions for the four-week...
Research opens doors in photonic quantum information processing, optical signal processing and microwave photonics
Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a new integrated photonics platform that can...
16.01.2019 | Event News
14.01.2019 | Event News
12.12.2018 | Event News
16.01.2019 | Life Sciences
16.01.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
16.01.2019 | Earth Sciences