martes, 21 de octubre de 2014

Why teenagers are irritable?

“... And these children
that you spit on
as they try to change their worlds
are immune to your consultations.
They're quite aware
of what they're going through...” 

David Bowie

Teenagers irritable

Read the following text that you could find in this link. It was published in "The Independent" by Kashmira Gander

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Teenagers irritable because early school hours mess with their biological clocks

Kashmira Gander, “The Independent”

Teenagers may not be irritable because of supposed attitude problems, but because early school hours affect their biological clocks, scientists claim.

New research shows that early starts can affect a teenager’s mood, and changing when the school day begins can perk up a teen’s mood, benefit their health and enhance their ability to learn.

The team leading the study published in the journal “Learning, Media and Technology” suggest that “our ability to function (and learn), varies with biological time rather than convencional social times”.

Our sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm, is the result of a complex balance between states of alertness and sleepiness regulated by a part of the brain called Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SNC).

When a child’s biological time and school hours are closely aligned, like at the beginning of their school careers, their faculties are not affected.

However, during adolescence consequences become drastically clear, when “the conflict between social and biological time is greater than at any point of our lives” according to the academics. This is because during puberty, shifts in a teens bodyclock push the optimal time for sleep later into evening, making it difficult for most teenagers to fall asleep before 11.00 p.m.

When early schools starts are coupled with a teen’s biological clock, the result is chronic sleep-deprivation, low grades and health problems.

Academics added that there is a body of evidence showing the benefits of synchronising education times with teens’ body clocks. They go on to conclude that while studies “consistently” show adolescents benefit from waking later, there is no evidence to show that early starts have a positive impact on how healthy or how academically succesful school students are.

Examples harnessing this body evidence include the United States Air Force Academy, where a later start policy saw the grades earned by a group of 18-19 year old soar.

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