Sleep supposedly refreshes and recharges our exhausted bodies. Holidays likewise have the same effect. Why then, after a long summer holiday, are teachers and parents seeing many teenagers returning to school in an exhausted and sleep deprived state? Why, also, do they seem, paradoxically, to be most sleepy first thing in the mornings, and over flowing with energy in the evenings? A high school teacher friend of mine said to me a couple of days ago, “my students are coming into class each morning like zombies. They should be fresh and alert and ready to go at the beginning of the school year!”
The answer to both these questions lies in the fact that many teenagers, and some pre-teens, have a late body clock. Our body clocks regulate when we sleep. A late body clock means one tends to go to bed, and get up late, which is what normal teenagers do during school holidays. The problem is that those with a late body clock have great trouble readjusting to a sleep pattern that fits in with the school timetable, once school starts. They lie awake at night, unable to sleep, and have extreme difficulties getting up in the mornings, and then they are tired, lethargic and moody during the first part of the day.
– Dr Chris Seton, SleepShack
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