You’re Young, You Shouldn’t Be Tired

The myth of teens and sleep schedules


Photo by Spencer Schlitz

Teens need to sleep later than younger children or adults.

Everyone sleeps. There is not one person who doesn’t sleep, and these hours of inactivity are incredibly valuable for all ages. However, chances are that you don’t get enough sleep.

If you’re a teen, it’s no doubt that you’ve been the victim of a scornful relative or adult claiming “you’re young, you shouldn’t be tired”. Kindly thank whoever this is for their input on your life, later hitting them with some cold, hard, scientific facts.

Teens need sleep. This is not a debatable statement. The scientific-sounding circadian rhythm encompasses different life processes, including, but not limited to, the body’s function of sleep. It’s basically your 24-hour internal clock, running in the background of your brain, cycling between sleepiness and alertness at regular times.

Essentially, your different biological clocks are fine-tuned to this rhythm. Children’s cycles and teenagers’ cycles differ, as we’re chock-full of those sweet, sweet pubescent hormones.

Biologically the clocks within teens shift one or two hours ahead, leading to people of our age to need to sleep later than kids and adults. This is ironic, as teens need to be at school and functioning earlier than everyone else.

Getting up early for school is hard.  It’s important for young people to speak their minds and know the facts in order for those in charge to listen. Although change is never immediate, slowly but surely someone will hear your voice, just make sure your argument is backed up properly. Science!