Parents who have seen their teens becoming increasingly irritable and tired during the past few weeks may have been wrong to put these mood swings down to puberty.
According to scientists, teenagers sleep decreases to below six hours per night on average the week following on from the changing of the clocks for British Summer Time. A change which may take weeks to correct.
According to sleep researcher Joanne Bower, during our teenage years there is a shift in the circadian rhythm (body clock). It is the body clock that ensures things occur at roughly the same time each day, including the production of the hormone melatonin – which the body releases to help us get to sleep.
This change in the body clock means that whereas a teenager may go to bed at ten, the secretion of melatonin may not begin until midnight, meaning that until then all there is to do is lie awake in bed staring at the ceiling.
This delayed sleep effect means that it can then be extremely difficult for teens to drag themselves out of bed in the morning, and this tiredness could continue throughout the day impacting concentration and lowering mood.
“With anyone who doesn’t get enough sleep it can be quite concerning. Over the long term you can find problems with your performance, concentration, and mood. We’re lucky we are quite resilient. I think people generally do have an amazing ability to bounce back.” Said Bower.
Whilst far more research is needed to cement these findings, for now this study offers a possible explanation as to why teens may feel particularly tired during this time of year.
Unfortunately, when you begin to develop unhealthy sleeping patterns it can be difficult to find your way back into a normal and healthy bedtime routine that will leave you feeling refreshed.
Individuals who are experiencing difficulties sleeping may which to consider hypnotherapy, which works to retrain the brain to replace those negative habits with more positive ones.
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