Surely everyone remembers what in childhoodit was unpleasant to wake up in the morning to be in time for the first lesson. As Swiss scientists recently found out, waking up early for classes is not only unpleasant, but also harmful to the health of adolescents. For this reason, the closure of schools and universities, on the one hand, had a negative impact on the mental health of pupils and students, but on the other hand, had a positive effect on health. Teenagers claim that they began to feel better and healthier. Moreover, according to scientists, the lack of the need to get up early has not only a direct impact on health, but also an indirect one. When students were able to sleep as much as they wanted, they began to consume less coffee and alcohol. Thus, the quality of life associated with health has improved significantly. Therefore, experts believe that the practice of early classes should be abolished altogether.
How quarantine affected the health of students
According to scientists in their study,Published in the JAMA Network Open, Swiss teenagers who were homeschooled during the first wave of coronavirus began to sleep much longer than before the quarantine. At the same time, an improvement in their health status was noted.
“During isolation, students began to sleep about 75 minutes a day longer than before quarantine,” says Oscar Jenny, one of the authors of the study, an employee of the University of Zurich.
During the study, the team interviewed more than3600 high school students. The scientists were interested in their sleep patterns, as well as other health and behavioral issues. The results were compared with the results of another survey conducted in 2017, in which 5,300 students took part. Since this was long before the pandemic, they all attended classes in person.
The comparison showed that teenagers in quarantinewoke up about 90 minutes later than those who went to face-to-face classes. However, they also fell asleep 15 minutes later. Therefore, the duration of sleep was increased by 75 minutes. At the same time, adolescents claimed that they felt better, they felt more strength and energy. In addition, students reported that they had more free time and energy to do what they want.
True, along with positive effects,Isolation also had some downsides. Homeschooled teens were more likely to complain that they felt lonely and sad. As a result of the quarantine, they were less likely to have fun with friends. In other words, the quarantine itself proved to be stressful, which somewhat compensated for the longer sleep.
What time should school start?
That longer sleepcontributed to the improvement in the health of students, there is nothing surprising. The negative impact of lack of sleep on health has long been known. One recent study showed that lack of sleep even negatively affects the gait of students, not to mention other cognitive functions.
“Our results clearly point to the benefits of starting school later so children can get enough sleep,” says Oscar Jenny.
Some experts believe that teenagers are notshould start the school day before 10 or even 11 am. True, this study by Swiss scientists is not prescriptive, but it contains more supporting facts that it is harmful for children to not get enough sleep. Moreover, the closure of schools allowed teenagers not only to sleep longer, but also to develop the most optimal sleep schedule for themselves.
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According to the researchers, todaytheir work is the first scientific evidence that school closures have a positive effect on adolescent health in relation to sleep. Perhaps, if more such studies appear, WHO will intervene in the situation and give its recommendations. Finally, I note that normal healthy sleep is extremely important for the health of not only adolescents, but also adults. So one of the recent studies showed that lack of sleep leads to accelerated aging. The study involved women who lacked sleep due to the birth of a child.