10 myths about teenage sleep: melatonin, energy, and lazy children

10 myths about teenage sleep: melatonin, energy, and lazy children

In adolescence and puberty, biological changes occur in the body that affect many processes, such as the delay in secretion of melatonin, which causes more sleep in schoolchildren and can affect the quality of sleep.

The widespread perception of good recreation, not supported by scientific evidence, exacerbates the situation, and researchers at Harvard Medical School have verified the extent to which myths about teenage sleep are still common among parents and guardians of schoolchildren in the United States.

To the surprise of the experts, it turns out that many parents still believe that:

  • Going to bed and getting up late on weekends is not a problem for teenagers if they fall asleep at that time.

Myth 1: Children fall asleep in class for lack of motivation.

Previous studies have shown that daytime drowsiness increases during puberty, which usually begins between 8 and 13 years of age for girls and between 9 and 14 years of age for boys.

One study, for example, found that 92 per cent of children under puberty were awake during day-to-day studies of behavioural habits, while the number of children under puberty fell to 48 per cent.

This suggests that physiology, not laziness, is responsible for drowsiness during the school day.

Myth 2: You have to stay up late in front of the test so you can learn everything.

The lack of sleep has a negative effect on cognitive functions. Late learning reduces the ability to memorize information, and fatigue the next day leads to a decline in brain activity.

The best results are achieved when adolescents learn part-time; therefore, if the test is to take place in two weeks, the daily reading of information in conjunction with sleep is ideal.

Myth 3: Schoolboys who sleep during the day are lazy

The reason for the day's sleep among schoolchildren is the early start of school, where schooling begins at 8 a.m., school children are forced to get up at 6 a.m. and even earlier. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, they are partly responsible for the depletion of adolescents.

The experts believe that changing the starting time will have a positive impact on both health and school achievement.

Myth 4: Adolescents make up for their late start by not going to bed at night.

A very popular misapprehension that prevents us from fighting the previous myth, such as over two thirds of American parents, and in fact scientific research has shown that changing the starting time of classes increases the sleep time of schoolchildren.

Myth 5: Adolescents cannot control the order of sleep.

A well-formed environment will help young people to prepare for sleep in order to avoid sleepless sleep and sleep disorder. Experts believe that parents can help school children by setting the right example. They suggest, among other things, that nightly prohibition be imposed on all electronic devices: shut down machines, read books together, drink tea or communicate.

Myth 6: Energy removes the effects of sleepless nights.

According to the CDC, sugar, caffeine and other stimulators in energy drinks can cause anxiety, health problems and insomnia among adolescents; however, a Harvard Medical School study found that up to 30 per cent of high school students report regular use of energy; in many cases, parents do not see it as a problem, and researchers write in their article.

Myth 7: Melatonin is a safe addition because it's natural.

The use of melatonin has proved effective in preventing the effects of jellyfish and sleep disorders, confirmed by scientists, but most of the research has been done on adults, adding them.

Data on the use of melatonin by adolescents are contradictory and have not been confirmed by long-term observations; the uncontrollable and unrestricted use of this supplement, which has begun to spread in recent years, is a matter of concern to researchers, and scientists recommend that the use of melatonin should be avoided without appointment or observation by a doctor.

Myth 8: Adolescents need less sleep than young children.

Seniors really need a little less sleep than their younger peers, but it's a small reduction. In transition, a child needs 8 to 10 hours of sleep, rather than 9 to 11 hours of sleep. Most teenagers don't get close to that, and researchers point out that it's pointless to worry that the child is sleeping a lot.

Myth 9: It's okay to go to bed late this weekend if the baby sleeps.

For many teenagers, day and weekend patterns vary considerably. It is not a half-hour difference, but a 2–4 hour difference. The most popular mistake is that if a kid sleeps on a weekend, that means it fits him.

But the imbalance creates a "social shift in time zones" that exacerbates the disruption of circadial rhythms, which results in functional disorders, including reduced performance, risky behaviour, such as excessive alcohol consumption, and increased mental health symptoms, are noted by scientists in their work.

Myth 10: Too much sleep is bad for teenagers

If a schoolboy sleeps for more than 10 hours from time to time, it's not a big deal, researchers say.

Since most adolescents do not sleep even at the bottom of the recommended range, it is not surprising that scientists occasionally claim compensation.