It is well known that for a complete replenishment of forcesAn adult needs to sleep about 8 hours a day. The same recommendation applies to adolescents, but because of the abundance of homework and activity on social networks, they sometimes sleep only 4 hours a day. Lack of sleep can negatively affect their health, so scientists from the US state of California decided to figure out how to make teenagers go to bed earlier and sleep longer. The developed method extended the sleep of schoolchildren by as much as 43 minutes. You are already wondering what tricks scientists used?
Researchers initially decided that they woulda change in the circadian rhythms of adolescents. This term refers to fluctuations in the activity of biological processes such as digestion, depending on the time of day. By influencing the circadian rhythms of a person, you can make him tired faster and, therefore, go to bed earlier. At the moment, scientists are aware of two ways to influence circadian rhythms - this is light therapy and behavioral therapy.
How to go to bed early?
Light therapy refers to the process whena person is exposed to short flashes of bright light. It is believed that if in the last hours of sleep before waking up in a person’s room, the bright light is turned on and off sharply, his circadian rhythms begin to shift. The process of behavioral therapy consists in conversations with adolescents, where psychologists motivate them to go to bed early.
To check if these two are possiblemethods to make teenagers sleep longer, scientists conducted an experiment. They gathered a group of 72 teenagers and installed light bulbs in their bedrooms that blink bright flashes of light at regular intervals. The device gave out illumination at the level of 4000 lux - about the same way the midday sun shines in the winter. The duration of the outbreaks was 3 milliseconds - they occurred every 20 seconds during the last three hours of sleep of adolescents. The outbreaks were almost imperceptible, so they did not interfere with sleep.
This is interesting: Sleep helps the brain forget unnecessary memories.
Four weeks later, subjects testified thatthey really began to feel tired a little earlier than usual. However, at the same time, they still did not go to sleep and stayed until late at night. In this regard, scientists decided to supplement light therapy with conversations, during which the benefits of staying up earlier were explained to adolescents. The combination of the two methods gave a very good result - the subjects began to go to bed about 50 minutes earlier than usual. It took them about 7 minutes to fall asleep, so the duration of their sleep increased by 43 minutes.
By the way, while they were sleeping, their brain was cleared of unnecessary memories
Health Benefits of Sleep
Scientists do not yet know exactly how brightflashes of light can affect the circadian rhythms of a person. However, they roughly understand how the human brain learns about their presence - the light from flashes hits the retina even despite closed eyelids. Due to the lack of a full understanding of the causes of changes in circadian rhythms, scientists advise not to try to use their method yet.
And how many hours a day do you sleep? Write your answer in the comments or in our Telegram chat.
In general, not only is important for human healthnight, but also daytime sleep. Some of you probably remember our material about the benefits of daytime sleep for human health. If you do not remember - be sure to take a few minutes of your time and read the article.